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The Kid With A Bike / Le gamin au velo (Version française)

4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Thomas Doret, Cécile De France, Jérémie Renier, Fabrizio Rongione, Egon Di Mateo
  • Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • Writers: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
  • Producers: Andrea Occhipinti, André Michotte, Arlette Zylberberg, Bernadette Meunier
  • Format: DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Seville Pictures
  • Release Date: Feb. 28 2012
  • Run Time: 87 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B006H0SW2U
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #27,865 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Product Description

Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children's home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn't recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage.

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Cyril, bientôt 12 ans, n'a qu'une idée en tête : retrouver son père qui l'a placé provisoirement dans un foyer pour enfants. Il rencontre par hasard Samantha, qui tient un salon de coiffure et qui accepte de l'accueillir chez elle pendant les week-ends. Mais Cyril ne voit pas encore l'amour que Samantha lui porte, cet amour dont il a pourtant besoin pour apaiser sa colère ...

From the Studio

Cyril, almost 12, has only one plan: to find the father who left him temporarily in a children's home. By chance he meets Samantha, who runs a hairdressing salon and agrees to let him stay with her at weekends. Cyril doesn't recognize the love Samantha feels for him, a love he desperately needs to calm his rage.

Cyril, bientôt 12 ans, n’a qu’une idée en tête : retrouver son père qui l’a placé provisoirement dans un foyer pour enfants. Il rencontre par hasard Samantha, qui tient un salon de coiffure et qui accepte de l’accueillir chez elle pendant les week-ends. Mais Cyril ne voit pas encore l’amour que Samantha lui porte, cet amour dont il a pourtant besoin pour apaiser sa colère... (©Les Films du Fleuve)

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By Tommy Dooley HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 14 2013
Format: DVD
Released in Belgium as `Le gamin au velo' in 2011 this is the story of Cyril played by Thomas Doret. He is an 11 year old child whose father has sent him to a children's home for a while until he gets sorted. Meanwhile his father has stopped using his phones so his son cant even contact him and Cyril gets completely over wrought and escapes in order to track down his papa.

He also wants his beloved bike back, but soon finds out that papa has done a moonlight flit. Then by accident he runs into Samantha, a local hairdresser with a heart of gold. She starts to help him and soon a relationship forms, but hanging around his fathers old haunts puts him at the mercy of some of the local ne'er do wells and things are going to happen.

This is one of those small independent films that some avoid like a rabid pooch and others embrace like a fluffy kitten. I am in the middle and actually really appreciated this effort; the fabulously named Cecile de France is superb as the caring Samantha. I really could not have done what she did for this quite unruly child. Thomas Doret is also brilliant as the irascible little tyke. Some will have issues with the ending which can be seen as `too easy' but it also avoids the rather unwelcoming pit that is over sentimentality. This then is for fans of World and especially Gallic cinema who like to think about their films and not just let them wash over you, so if that floats your `bateau' then this should be right up your `rue'. Apologies for my appalling French.
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Format: DVD
If you only like mainstream Hollywood movies, don't bother reading the rest of this or getting this film.

But if you love cinema, you should know Belgium's Dardennes brothers are film masters and this is the latest in their body of work. A young boy abandoned by his parents meets a hairstylist while trying to reconnect with his absent father. He works through his rage as he learns that love is a choice, not an obligation and who really loves him. Astonishing performances, elegant film making.
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
It seems that the best films about human nature, or real topics that actually matter, are made outside the Hollywood system. I suppose anguish and inner turmoil doesn't translate into an exciting viewing experience, or one that will encourage people to pay to see the film. I understand that equation, and it makes me respect filmmakers who attempt to bring to life these rarely shown topics.

The Kid with a Bike is one such film. It sits on the top row of my movie collection right next to Kes, and that's so appropriate. Both films are about childhood, and boys who do not have a loving family environment. Incidentally, both were made in Europe.

The title reminds me of The Bicycle Thief, and I found that to be one of the most touching and realistic portrayals of a father/son relationship. The Kid with a Bike is touching in a different way.

This review contains spoilers, and reveals a similar amount of information as the trailer. If you don't want to know anything else about the story, please stop reading now.

The film is about 11-year-old Cyril Catoul (Thomas Doret), who lives in a children's home. His mother isn't mentioned at any point in the story, and his father has abandoned him. The opening scenes show Cyril trying to come to terms with his situation. He doesn't believe that his father wouldn't want him, or that he would move out of his apartment without telling Cyril where he was going. Cyril is angry and aggressive, and only calms down a little when he's shown that his father's old apartment is truly empty.

During his struggles, he grabs hold of a woman. She's Samantha (Cécile De France), and wants to help. She locates the man who bought Cyril's bike from his father, and buys it back for him.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
un autre très bon film à la manière Dardenne. un cinéma vérité comme je les aime; à milles lieux du cinéma américain.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xb62fea68) out of 5 stars 52 reviews
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb588c12c) out of 5 stars Growing Up is Painful Jan. 23 2013
By billy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
If you're looking for a real and honest portrayal of what it's like to be a child or an adolescent on film, you really have to step outside of the US. There's something about the typical American portrayal of kids that never really reaches for anything profound. Three benchmark examples come to mind of non-American portrayals or youth. The first is Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows, the second is Luis Bunuel's Los Olvidados, and the third is Edward Yang's Yi Yi. THe Dardennes Brothers The Kid With a Bike isn't quite in the league of those films, it's a worthy successor and a fine film in it's own right.

The film focuses on a child named Cyril, played by Thomas Doret. Cyril has been all but abandoned by his father Guy, who is neither financially or emotionally able to care for Cyril. Cyril is living in what appears to be a group home, and he frequently acts out and tries to contact his father. He's mostly rebuked by his father, but a chance encounter with a hairdresser named Samantha, played by Cecile De France, leads to Samantha all but adopting Cyril. It's not an easy transition for the Cyril, who yearns for his father, or any father figure, and eventually falls in with bad crowd.

The Kid with the Bike is about the yearning for a father figure. Cyril's actually father Guy completely rejects him. He's either too emotionally immature or financially unstable to support Cyril. It's likely a combination of both. Samantha's boyfriend, on the otherhand, is completely rejected by Cyril. He seems like a pale reflection of a father figure to him. Eventually Cyril finds a surrogate father in Wes, a young hood who recruits young kids to help him in his various criminal endeavors. This ultimately leads to disappointment as well, as Wes is nothing more than a common hood who feels nothing for Cyril.

So this brings Cyril back to Samantha, the woman who cares for him almost unconditionally. She forsakes the relationship with her boyfriend when he makes her chose between him and Cyril. He choses Cyril. Samantha may not be the father he's looking for, she is there for him and provides the nurturing of a mother.

The ending scene is the only aspect of the film that breaks with the low key nature of the film. I don't want to spoil the ending, but it didn't feel quite as organic as the rest of the film.

If you're a fan of movies like the 400 Blows and Los Olvidados then you'll probably find a lot to like in the Kid with a Bike. If you enjoy low key slice of life dramas then you'll probably like this as well. It's not a perfect film or an out and out classic, but it's an enjoyable and well realized portrayal of a troubled youth.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb588c180) out of 5 stars Another solid Belgian movie April 28 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne directed an outstanding movie in 2005 called "The Child" ("L'enfant) which brought widespread critical and in French-speaking Europe also commercial acclaim. Now comes the latest movie from these guys.

"The Kid With a Bike" (Le Gamin au Velo) (2011 from Belgium; 87 min.) brings the story of 11 yr. old Cyril who lives in a youth center. Cyril cannot accept that his father seemingly has abandoned him, and in the first part of the movie we see Cyril trying to run away to find out where his dad is. It becomes clear that the dad indeed is no longer wanting to be involved in Cyril's life. By happenstance, Cyril meets Samantha, a hairdresser who agrees to become a foster parent just on the weekends. Cyril also befriends Wes, a no-good older kid who talks Cyril into robbing a newspaper carrier. I don't want to spoil the plot any further, you'll just have to see how it all plays out. But suffice to say that there were a number of scenes during which the theatre audience loudly gasped and moaned.

This movie is another outstanding "slice of life" as brought by the bothers Dardenne. No, there are no major "action" scenes or special effects. Just observing ordinary people in not always ordinary situations. Special mention must go to the young Belgian actor Thomas Doret, who is simply outstanding as Cyril, and also to Cecile de France (who, despite her last name, is also Belgian), in the role of Samantha. Incidentally, the movie was filmed in the Walloon city of Seraing (near Liege), where the brothers Dardenne hail from. "Le Gamin au Velo" made a major splash at the 2011 Cannes film festival, where it won the "Grand PRix". I can't help but notice that this is yet another strong movie from Belgium, on the heels of the Oscar-nominated "Bullhead". If you are in the mood for a good foreign movie, I readily recommend "Le Gamin au Velo".
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb588c5b8) out of 5 stars Man's Humanity to Man April 8 2012
By Jay B. Lane - Published on Amazon.com
"Le gamin au vélo," an unrated drama from Belgium (English subtitles), is about an eleven-year old boy, abandoned by his father at a local youth farm (orphanage). Nominated for Best Foreign Film at the Golden Globes, it is also winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes (2011), Best Screenwriter at the European Film Awards and Best Director at the Flaiano International Prizes. I noticed in particular how few cuts there were in each scene. Amazing! I will study this more closely when Amazon.com releases the Region 1 version on DVD.

We watch our determined young protagonist break away from his keepers and set out in quest of his absent father AND his missing bicycle. His quest crosses the path of a town hairdresser who, for some never-disclosed reason, offers to foster him on weekends; an act of kindness she quickly comes to regret. This boy is hurt, defiant, and rebellious. He is convinced his father would never leave him, nor would he take away his bike, so the only way for our little guy to learn this sad lesson is in a face-to-face confrontation.

This cast is excellent, these two leads in particular:
* Thomas Doret (impressive in his first role) is Cyril, frightened and bewildered by his father's selfish actions. This kid is always running, pedaling, climbing or fighting. At times he is so irritating I want to shake him!
* Cécile De France ("Avenue Montaigne") is Samantha, the ultra-patient hairdresser, willing to stand by our little rascal, even when he isn't very lovable. Physically, she is barely strong enough to cope with our wiry rebel.

As the story unfolds, we in the Seattle International Film Festival audience never move. We see things about other characters that our young hero is too immature to understand, so we hold our collective breath. We see that the good people are really good, while the bad people are equally bad, and we keep our fingers crossed for this confused youngster as he works his way through his pain.

As the film ends I feel good about Man's humanity to Man.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb588c534) out of 5 stars Another solid Belgian movie May 14 2012
By Paul Allaer - Published on Amazon.com
The Belgian brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne directed an outstanding movie in 2005 called "The Child" ("L'enfant) which brought widespread critical and in French-speaking Europe also commercial acclaim. Now comes the latest movie from these guys.

"The Kid With a Bike" (Le Gamin au Velo) (2011 from Belgium; 87 min.) brings the story of 11 yr. old Cyril who lives in a youth center. Cyril cannot accept that his father seemingly has abandoned him, and in the first part of the movie we see Cyril trying to run away to find out where his dad is. It becomes clear that the dad indeed is no longer wanting to be involved in Cyril's life. By happenstance, Cyril meets Samantha, a hairdresser who agrees to become a foster parent just on the weekends. Cyril also befriends Wes, a no-good older kid who talks Cyril into robbing a newspaper carrier. I don't want to spoil the plot any further, you'll just have to see how it all plays out. But suffice to say that there were a number of scenes during which the theatre audience loudly gasped and moaned.

This movie is another outstanding "slice of life" as brought by the bothers Dardenne. No, there are no major "action" scenes or special effects. Just observing ordinary people in not always ordinary situations. Special mention must go to the young Belgian actor Thomas Doret, who is simply outstanding as Cyril, and also to Cecile de France (who, despite her last name, is also Belgian), in the role of Samantha. Incidentally, the movie was filmed in the Walloon city of Seraing (near Liege), where the brothers Dardenne hail from. "Le Gamin au Velo" made a major splash at the 2011 Cannes film festival, where it won the "Grand PRix". I can't help but notice that this is yet another strong movie from Belgium, on the heels of the Oscar-nominated "Bullhead". If you are in the mood for a good foreign movie, I readily recommend "Le Gamin au Velo".
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xb588c93c) out of 5 stars A realistic portrayal of a troubled childhood Feb. 18 2013
By Steven Aldersley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Blu-ray
It seems that the best films about human nature, or real topics that actually matter, are made outside the Hollywood system. I suppose anguish and inner turmoil doesn't translate into an exciting viewing experience, or one that will encourage people to pay to see the film. I understand that equation, and it makes me respect filmmakers who attempt to bring to life these rarely shown topics.

The Kid with a Bike is one such film. It sits on the top row of my movie collection right next to Kes, and that's so appropriate. Both films are about childhood, and boys who do not have a loving family environment. Incidentally, both were made in Europe.

The title reminds me of The Bicycle Thief, and I found that to be one of the most touching and realistic portrayals of a father/son relationship. The Kid with a Bike is touching in a different way.

This review contains spoilers, and reveals a similar amount of information as the trailer. If you don't want to know anything else about the story, please stop reading now.

The film is about 11-year-old Cyril Catoul (Thomas Doret), who lives in a children's home. His mother isn't mentioned at any point in the story, and his father has abandoned him. The opening scenes show Cyril trying to come to terms with his situation. He doesn't believe that his father wouldn't want him, or that he would move out of his apartment without telling Cyril where he was going. Cyril is angry and aggressive, and only calms down a little when he's shown that his father's old apartment is truly empty.

During his struggles, he grabs hold of a woman. She's Samantha (Cécile De France), and wants to help. She locates the man who bought Cyril's bike from his father, and buys it back for him. He refuses to accept that his father would sell it, insisting that it must have been stolen. He barely remembers to thank Samantha for her kindness, but races after her and asks if he can stay with her on the weekends. She says that she will call the home and try to arrange it.

Cécile De France is not a stunning beauty, but she's an incredibly warm actress. If you saw her performance in Hereafter, you'll know what I mean. She has a way of making you believe that she is intelligent, sensitive, thoughtful, and caring. This ability makes her an excellent choice for the role. We are never told why Samantha lives alone, but it partly explains why she might find it important to help Cyril. Is she looking for the kind of love that a child might offer, or does she merely empathize with his plight, and is hoping to give him the kind of love that she didn't have as a child?

Cyril is hard to like for much of the film. He's often angry, deeply mistrustful of adults, and disobedient when he doesn't get exactly what he wants. Samantha manages to arrange a meeting with his father, and Cyril finally learns some difficult truths about the man. I connected with this part of the film because I never knew my own father. Luckily, I grew up in a loving environment with my mother and grandparents. My experiences helped me to understand anger, and the need to be as independent as possible. Cyril doesn't trust adults because he can't be sure they will be there for him when it matters.

One boy in the neighborhood is keen to befriend him, but Cyril is more drawn to an older boy who is suspected of dealing drugs. He's seemingly kind to Cyril, but we know that he's simply trying to gain trust, and that his true motives haven't yet been revealed. It works to some degree because Cyril responds to actions rather than promises.

This is a film about decisions. What are Samantha's reasons for trying to help him? What does his father really want? Should Cyril keep hoping for love that he may never have from his father, or settle for the love that is being offered by Samantha? Will he ever control his anger and become worthy of anyone's love?

The Dardenne brothers ask a lot of questions and provide very few answers, but the closing scene suggests that Cyril has learned something about life, and that his future might not be as bleak as his current existence.

The Criterion package is superb, and comes with a booklet, a great transfer, and more than two hours of special features. If you are interested in the Dardenne brothers, one interview lasts 74 minutes and reveals a lot about their methods.

The Kid with a Bike is not an easy film to watch, and the payoff is implied rather than shown. However, it's a strong, realistic portrayal of childhood, and the performances do it justice. If you like to contemplate life, it's worth your time.

Overall score 4.5/5


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