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Review: The Kid with a Bike

Warmth in juvenile delinquency
By GERALD PEARY  |  April 3, 2012

This Grand Prix winner at Cannes 2011 is among the best films by Belgium's Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, and perhaps their most religious, with God's concerned presence signaled, à la Bresson, with otherworldly bursts of Beethoven on the soundtrack. A prideful, needy young boy, Cyril (Thomas Doret), is dumped by his uncaring father (perennial Dardennes actor Jérémie Renier). Afterward, Cyril's precarious soul is fought over in a Manichean battle between a kindly, angelic hairdresser and a devilish, teenage dope-dealer. Influenced by both Truffaut's The 400 Blows and Buñuel's Los Olvidados, Kid with a Bike joins them as one of the classic international works about juvenile delinquency.

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