Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Film Review: L'Enfant [Yr.2005]

U.S. Title: The Child
Jérémie Renier, Déborah François
Directed by Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne

There’s no doubt in my mind that Romain Duris is the most talented actor on the planet.

As of this moment, Jérémie Renier is a close second. The proof is in his starmaking performance as a petty thief/deadbeat dad in “L’Enfant”. A performance, and I use the term lightly, that will have you, the viewer, mesmerized and quite possibly disillusioned by human kind - yes, the character Renier portrays is a heartless human being.

Equally as good, is Déborah François, who portrays the teenage mother of Renier’s child. The two have so much chemistry that it’s hard to believe that they aren’t real life sweethearts. That is, of course, until Renier’s character commits the truly unthinkable and destroys their relationship, and family, forever.

I must also give credit to directors Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for allowing their story to be told without the usual gimmicks (practically no music, no forced action or drama, etc.) that would have only distracted from this film. And for that, I thank them.

If you are a fan of documentary-style filmmaking with minimal dialogue and a story that feels like it’s based on true events, then “L’Enfant” is a must see. I encourage you to watch this film and I defy you to try to forget the image of Renier pushing that empty baby carriage all around the streets of Belgium.

Like I said, a must see.

No comments: