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Archive for the ‘L’Enfant’ Category

L’Enfant – review – Film Comment #63

Film Comment – #63 – L’Enfant – Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne – 2005


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“L’Enfant” is one of those films you should watch once, and you’ll never have the stomach to watch again much like, “Requiem For a Dream”, “4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days”, and “Lilya 4-Ever”.

It is a story about a girl Sonia, who is released from the hospital with her newborn son. She searches out for Bruno, the boys father. Both her and Bruno live on the streets, scraping by on whatever they can get, and crashing wherever someone will let them. They would stay at Sonia’s place, but Bruno is too busy renting it out to people. They are children themselves, children of the streets.

Bruno is a grifter who will do anything to make a quick buck, and spends it on expensive jackets and stupid hats as fast as he can get it. He sells a video camera to one of his regular clients one day. The client asks him about his newborn and lets him know that there are people out there who will pay top dollar for a child. Without even thinking of the repercussions, he decides to take her up on her offer. He tells Sonia what he’s done, and that’s when things go from bad to worse. Bruno soon gets way over his head as he makes bad decision after bad decision.

The film is extremely intense, almost too intense at times making it stressful to watch. The characters just go further and further down the spiral with no end in sight. It is a dark film, but extremely griping and hard to take your eyes off of.

“L’Enfant” won the Palm d’Or in 2005 at the Cannes film festival, the highest honor a film can receive at the event. It is a hard film to watch, but it is a great film as well.

Grade: A-