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NYFF: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s “The Kid with a Bike”

NYFF: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne's "The Kid with a Bike"

It’s clear now from their six fiction features that whatever the Dardenne brothers point their camera at becomes, for that moment, the most interesting thing in the universe. This is a rare talent; only a handful of similarly gifted living directors come to my mind—Claire Denis, for sure—through whose eyes, and by the simplest, most natural means, the world becomes beautiful, even set against agonizing tumult. This is because in fixating on the world’s traumas they see the possibility for minor daily redemptions. The Dardennes, in particular, are preternaturally adept at locating the beauty in bustle, and the solace amidst struggle. As fixated on the physical as their earlier Rosetta and L’Enfant, The Kid with a Bike, the Dardennes’ latest action film, is concerned with the tireless movements of twelve-year-old Cyril (Thomas Doret), a protagonist who courts our sympathy and tries our patience in equal, exhilarating measure. Read Michael Koresky’s review of The Kid with a Bike.

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