At about 11, the stubborn and impulsive Cyril seems on his way to delinquency: he has no mother, his father wants a new life without him, so he’s in a foster institution. He searches for his father, wanting him and his bike. Through the intersession of Samantha, a hairdresser Cyril happens upon, he gets his bike back, and she offers to take him into her home on weekends. He remains aloof from her and gets involved with a young crook. Is Cyril intent on driving Samantha away – and what then?
User Reviews: I recently saw this at the 2012 Palm Springs International Film Festival. This was Belgium’s official submission to the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film and won the Grand Prix as the Jury Prize winner at the Cannes film Festival. Cyril Catoul (Thomas Doret) is living in a state run home and school for children after his single parent father Guy Catoul (Jérémie Renier) abandoned him. Cyril’s father promised him that he wouldn’t sell his beloved bike and when the father never returns to take him from the state care he sets out in search of his father and his bike. A kind single woman, Samantha, (Cécile De France) takes pity on him and tracks down the bicycle that his father had sold and buys it and returns it to Cyril. Samantha soon takes Cyril in to live with her part-time. Cyril is a very troubled young boy and is longing to belong and have a family. He has a temper and is a candidate for a troubled life. From writers/directors/producers the Dardenne brothers, this is a good story with fine acting. I’m sure for the role of Cyril, the directors instructed first time actor Doret, to act like a brat and be who he isn’t. It worked well. De France is great as the strong and sympathetic Samantha. The story moves along well with a good score and nice editing. It’s a little implausible at times and kind of far-fetched but it’s a crowd pleaser and I would give it an 8.0 and recommend it.