Drama | French with English subtitles | 91 minutes
After the birth of her baby, Sonia returns home from the hospital and is told that her live-in boyfriend, Bruno, has sublet the apartment. Sonia tracks down Bruno; they reconcile. When Sonia is out, Bruno sells the baby on the black market. When she returns, Bruno informs her that he sold the baby for a wad of money. Sonia becomes hysterical, faints and is taken to the hospital. Realizing Sonia’s despair, Bruno retrieves the baby but must pay a premium for doing so. With mounting debt, Bruno, a petty criminal, is desperate. Sonia decides to press charges and Bruno ends up in prison. Sonia visits Bruno in jail. Their relationship is damaged. Is it beyond repair?
Why Stream This Film?
- Rotten Tomatoes Score (Critics Consensus): 85%
- Metacritic Score: 87
- Cannes Film Festival: Winner, Palme d’Or
- Toronto Film Critics Association Awards: Winner, Best Foreign Film; Best Director
- César Awards: Nominated, Best Film; Best Director & Screenplay (Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne)
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L’ENFANT is not so simple as to believe that for Bruno there can be a happy ending. Here is a film where God does not intervene and the directors do not mistake themselves for God. It makes the solutions at the ends of other movies seem like child’s play.
What interests the Dardennes is not only how Bruno became the kind of man who would sell a child as casually as a slab of beef, but also whether a man like this, having committed such a repellent offense, can find redemption.
The Dardenne brothers’ new film, THE CHILD, or L’ENFANT, is an example of how cinema has the power to convince, to move and to compel, with the fewest possible material resources. It is as gripping as any thriller, with the abrasive force of social-realist drama, and yet it is also unapologetically concerned with redemption–a theme that is just a style accessory in many movies, but is here absolutely authentic.
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