The Kid with a Bike

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The Kid with a Bike

Jean-Pierre Dardenne (2011)

12A Certificate


Our Score
An 11-year-old tearaway starts to make sense of the conflict around him in this subtle, touching drama from esteemed Belgian film-making brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne (The Son, L'Enfant). Languishing in care, young Cyril (Thomas Doret, a real find) can see no further than escaping to be united with his father and the shiny red bike he was bought. However, it soon becomes heartbreakingly obvious that the errant father (Jérémie Renier) wants very little to do with the boy. Yet Cyril himself is scornful towards the kindly local hairdresser Samantha (Cécile de France) who is able to offer him a real home. In the wrong hands this could have been a turgid soap opera, but the Dardenne siblings keep the story moving at a cracking pace, scrupulously avoid any syrupy sentiment, and deliver a drama that's both emotionally wrenching and morally complex. They draw us in, as Samantha's innate decency struggles to find a way through to Cyril's fierce yet wrong-headed innocence, and the result is a compelling and accessible film that deserves an audience well beyond the art house.


A 12-year-old boy in a children's home becomes obsessed with tracking down his father and finding out why he was left there. A hairdresser lets him stay with her and agrees to help in his search, but he remains oblivious to her maternal feelings toward him. Drama, starring Thomas Doret, Cecile De France and Jeremie Renier. In French.

Cast & Crew

Cyril Catoul Thomas Doret
Samantha Cécile de France
Guy Catoul Jérémie Rénier
Wes Egon Di Mateo
Bookseller Fabrizio Rongione
Director Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Director Luc Dardenne
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Other Information

Language: French +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Artificial EyeGuidance: Violence, swearing. Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 23 Mar 2012