aka THE CHILD
Movie Review by Alice Castle
Starring: Jeremie Renier, Deborah François, Jeremie Segard, Fabrizio Rongione
Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne
It’s not just Britain that has sink estates and teenage pregnancies. They have them in Belgium too. Winner of the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2005, brothers Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s L’ENFANT tells the story of Bruno (Jeremie Renier) serial liar and small-time crook, his gullible but devoted girlfriend Sonia (Deborah François) and their new baby Jimmy in a run-down industrial suburb of Liege.
Sonia returns from hospital with her son, hoping to instil a new sense of responsibility in her irresponsible boyfriend. With his obsessive desire to make a quick buck, Bruno has other ideas and decides to sell baby Jimmy on the black market, while its mother waits in the queue for her social security money. What follows is a tense chase in which we hope to find out if Bruno has any conscience at all.
Gritty and real, with excellent performances by Renier and François. This isn’t the first gong the Dardenne brothers have come home with from the French Riviera. They won best film for ROSETTA in 1999, and followed with highly acclaimed LE FILS in 2002.