Esteemed Highlight Hollywood Film Critic Barry Rubin On 'The Kid With The Bike'

“The Kid With a Bike” is a French, Italian and Belgian joint venture in French and was written and directed by Luc and Jean Pierre Dardenne. It tells the story of a young boy abandoned by his father who struggles with rejection. The film has received all kinds of accolades and applause from almost every major periodical and quality and respected film festival including Sundance, Cannes etc.. The question I must ask is “Why?” The film’s main character, young Cyril, is a bad kid by any standards and almost totally dysfunctional as he struggles to come to terms with all that he has been denying. The circumstances and results the film recites are, for the most part, unrealistic and difficult to reconcile with reality. The only actor of note is Cecile De France (the newscaster in “Hereafter”) and even she could not fulfill the expectations of those like me who went to this film anticipating something extraordinary and unfortunately getting much much less. As is many times the case, the merging of the role of writer with the role of director leads to what I like to call a “conflict of artistic interest” for it is very hard to edit out or amend, as a director, that which you have put down on paper as the film’s author.

I give this film 2 and ½ stars and note that, for me, at least, its only redeeming quality is that it made me want to go out on my mountain bike once again. In the case of this movie, however, the bike ride lasted a little too long and without much to see or hear along the way.

“The Kid With a Bike” is in select theaters around the U.S.

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Written By: Barry Rubin
Photographs are Courtesy: Movie’s Official Website
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