Picks and Pans Review: L'enfant

UPDATED 04/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

Jérémie Renier, Déborah François


When it comes to brother acts, the Wachowski siblings own action thrillers and the Farrellys comedy, but no one depicts the bleak lives of Europe's young, dispossessed underclass more movingly than Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, the Belgian directing duo behind L'Enfant (The Child). This poignant French-language drama, which deservedly won the Golden Palm award at last year's Cannes Film Festival, follows the desperate efforts of a homeless 20-year-old small-time thief (Renier) to recover his newborn baby after he impulsively sells the infant to a black market connection without telling his girlfriend (François). Along the way, he gets an inkling that maybe it's time to grow up. (R)

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