Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, The Kid with a Bike is the latest film from the much-admired filmmaking brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (2002’s The Son, 2005’s The Child). Newcomer Thomas Doret stars as Cyril, a young boy who has been abandoned in a state-run orphanage, not that he realizes as much. News reaches Cyril that his father has moved and cannot be located, but the young boy is more concerned with the status of his bicycle than the likely permanent abandonment by his only parental figure. A chance encounter with kind hairdresser Samantha allows Cyril the opportunity to both regain his bicycle and acquire a home to stay in on weekends, which leads the young’un towards a series of encounters with his cowardly father, a local drug dealer, and a family of innocent shopkeepers who suffer at the hands of impressionable youth. The whole affair adds up to a rather realistic slice-of-life drama that subtly embraces the oft-used theme of the interconnected nature of us all, not to say that we’ve seen it all before as the Dardennes succeed in crafting a film that feels remarkably fresh, rewarding, and, above all, real.
The Kid with a Bike opens today at the Ritz at the Bourse.