18 Dec 201612:00 pm | Cinema 1 |
With their second Palme d'Or winner, the Dardenne brothers offered another hugely affecting and beautifully observed exploration of life on the margins of unglamorous Liège. Jérémie Renier (from their earlier La Promesse) excels as Bruno, a 20-year-old happily living a hand-to-mouth existence funded by stolen goods and by benefits paid out to his 18-year-old girlfriend Sonia (Déborah François), who has just given birth to their child.
Though almost as reckless as Bruno, she's unprepared for his cavalier attitude towards parenthood and is aghast when he arranges, unbeknown to her, for the baby to be illegally adopted in return for easy money. Avoiding sentiment but extending sincere compassion to its characters, the visually assured L'Enfant is a wonderfully evocative account of life on the streets that registers as another Dardennes masterpiece.
The Child (L’Enfant), dir. Luc Dardenne and Jean-Pierre Dardenne, France 2005, 93 mins.
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