The Kid With a Bike
A boy who longs to be reunited with his family refuses to accept the reality of his circumstances in this drama from the sibling writing/directing team of Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne. Cyril (Thomas Doret) is an 11-year-old boy who loves his father and believes in him. The trouble is, Cyril's dad Guy (Jeremie Renier) is a bum who doesn't care about his son, doesn't want to spend his money caring for him, and has left the boy at an orphanage rather than keep him. While these facts are clear to everyone else, Cyril refuses to believe them, and his determination to be reunited with Guy, coupled with his discipline problems, makes him a chore to look after. Samantha (Cecile de France), who works in a beauty shop, offers to take Cyril on weekends so he can have some kind of a home life, but her determined compassion makes only so much of an impact on the youngster, who is still convinced he can find his father. As Samantha struggles to bond with Cyril, the boy finds an unfortunate father figure in Wes (Egon Di Mateo), a small-time crook who drafts Cyril into his latest criminal scheme. Jeremie Renier, who plays Guy in Le Gamin Au Velo (aka The Kid With a Bike), made his screen debut in an earlier film by the Dardenne Brothers, 1996's La Promesse, in which he fittingly played a troubled youth.