Critic Consensus: The Dardennes continue to excel at presenting works of rigorous naturalism, with detached observations of authentic characters that nevertheless resonate with complex moral issues.
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as Plainclothes Officer
as Young Thug
as Bruno's Mother
as Female Shopkeeper
as Police Station Policeman
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Critic Reviews for L'Enfant
A simple moral fable told with compassion and nerve.
What is astonishing, and most admirable, is the way the filmmakers manage to create sympathy for this pathetic loser.
Every act in the film has a mythic resonance.
No one is likely to leave L'Enfant unaffected by the Dardennes incisive exploration of the consequences of a world where some of its citizens have found a way to rationalize, and even ignore, what was if not unimaginable, at least unforgivable.
Audience Reviews for L'Enfant
I just didn't feel enough for the main character to be that invested in his plight, especially considering he brought all of his drama on himself through his own actions. Maybe that's the point of it, but if I want to watch an idiot make stupid decisions that effect other people's lives negatively, I'll keep watching reality television. And here's the other thing about Italian neo-realism vs. the French style of the same thing (yeah, I'm getting all film schooly on your asses): at least the Italians new how to frame. I get it, it's part of the slice of life thing, but try the camera on the tripod once and see what it looks like. Paris is too beautiful of a city to be seen of out focus.
Wonderfully subdued tale of a father's (eventual) love. In many ways a latter day Oliver Twist, focusing more on the pickpocketing aspect. It shows how far people will go for money and how it can also blind their common sense. Bruno may be a bit naive in his actions but unfortunately we never see the real Bruno until the last few frames. He only does the right thing when pushed into it due to very harsh circumstances. It's excellently shot, capturing the realistic harsh nature the film sets out to achieve. Slow in some places and not so well developed in others it is for the most part a truly affecting tale that doesn't sentimental.
Touching, but it really makes no sense that a guy so crappy as to sell his baby would be such a good person in the end. I guess it says something about becoming an adult, but still...it's about as abrupt a change as Anakin Skywalker turning to the dark side.
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