french films > The Child

The Child

The Child

cast: Jérémie Rénier, Déborah François, Jérémie Segard

year: 2004

colour: no


director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

runtime: 100

Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne present another uncompromising, emotionally devastating depiction of human struggle with THE CHILD. Winner of the Palme d’Or at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival (their second, after 1999’s ROSETTA), the film opens just as 20-year-old Bruno (Jeremie Renier) and his 18-year-old girlfriend Sonia (Deborah Francois) have welcomed their first child into the world. A small-time crook with no big-time leads, Bruno decides to sneak away with his son, Jimmy, and sell him for a hefty chunk of money. But when he tries to justify his actions to Sonia, assuring her that they'll have another baby, she collapses in shock. While she recuperates in the hospital, Bruno realizes that he’s made a horrendous mistake, and embarks on an impassioned quest to get his son back and redeem himself to Sonia. As in their other fictional feature films, the Dardennes use handheld cinematography, realistic acting, and a music-free soundtrack to create a poetically heightened sense of reality. The result is a supremely humane work of art. Featuring another powerful performance from frequent Dardennes collaborator Renier, THE CHILD also boasts an unforgettable performance from newcomer François, who fills the screen with an honesty rarely seen.


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