L'ENFANT (THE CHILD)
Growing Up Is Hard to Do
Release Date: March 24, 2006
Starring: Jérémie Renier and Deborah Francois
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 100 minutes
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics
Director: Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne
Executive Producer: None
Address Comments To:Michael Barker and Tom Bernard
Sony Pictures Classics
(Sony Pictures Entertainment)
550 Madison Avenue, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10022
Phone: (212) 833-8833
Web Page: http://www.sonyclassics.com
Sonia finally locates Bruno. She chastises him for subletting her apartment, but she easily forgives him. Bruno, however, doesn’t seem to be too interested in their new baby. He’s clearly not quite ready for parenthood.
Desperate for money, Bruno sells Jimmy to a black market adoption ring. The devastating impact this has on Sonia, however, not to mention their relationship, causes Bruno to realize his immense error. He sets out to get the baby back, but, if he does, can Sonia ever forgive him?
L’ENFANT is a very slow, realistic drama. The movie picks up a bit in the second half, however, and manages to elicit some very emotional moments, especially near the end. The movie is mainly a character study of Bruno, and the personal transformation he undergoes. It is unclear until the end that Bruno will be able to turn around his life. It is clear before that, however, that Bruno is actually the child referred to in the title, not his son Jimmy.
There is also a powerful, harrowing scene where Bruno saves the life of one of the boys in his gang. That is followed by a positive scene in a police precinct and a powerful scene of forgiveness at a police detention center. These scenes are very well done and almost make up for the very slow pace of the rest of the movie.
Of course, the viewer’s sympathies lie with the baby in the story. Also, since Bruno eventually does the right thing in the end, the movie seems to have a light Christian worldview with some moral qualities. It leaves the viewer with a sense of hope that Bruno may be able to do his penance for his sins and overcome his aversion to work. Those are signs, of course, of true maturity, of growing from a child to a man. Were it not for a couple of “f” words, L’ENFANT might deserve a higher MOVIEGUIDE® rating than Extreme Caution.
L’ENFANT is a very slow, but ultimately powerful, realistic drama. The movie picks up in the second half. The movie is mainly a character study of Bruno, and the personal transformation he undergoes. It is unclear until the end that Bruno may be able to turn around his life. It is clear before that Bruno is actually the child referred to in the title, not his son Jimmy. Bruno’s personal transformation gives the movie its power, and a light Christian worldview, but there are a couple “f” words in the dialogue that deserve extreme caution.