Makes a powerful statement about the plight of unwanted children. But it also incorporates elements of melodrama, film noir, and even the fairy tale that engage our empathy and confirm the Dardennes' great compassion.
As is usual in their films, the Dardennes remain both deeply interested and carefully objective. The photography and editing are unfussy and unhurried. There is no attempt to do anything but present these small fictions as simple fact.
Belgium's Dardenne brothers make movies that remind you the most compelling stories are unfolding right outside your window, rather than in outer space, the distant past or wherever cinema usually takes us.
To anyone familiar with the Dardennes' relatively small but very substantial body of work, this might sound as if it's going over old ground - and maybe it is, but it's still producing fresh and extremely fruitful results.