The Kid With a Bike

Director: Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Year Released: 2011
Rating: 3.0

Typically understated Dardennes effort is actually a variation on the Little Red Riding Hood tale, with this one focusing on a deeply troubled boy (Thomas Doret) who loses both his father and his bicycle, only to regain his bike but find out his Dad doesn't want him back anymore. The Dardennes remain focused on family values (and disintegration thereof), so when the mother-and-fatherless child is left looking for someone to 'stick with,' he's torn between a local dealer (but don't call him a dealer) and an impossibly patient hairdresser (Cécile De France). Aside from my consistently trying to figure out the psychological motivation for De France's character, this is still self-assured and wonderfully plotted humanist cinema ... and the ending is utterly magnificent.