Day 4: My first movie isn’t until 4:30, which gives me time to shop in Kensington Market, in Chinatown, and for a genuinely Torontonian souvenir: Toronto Argonauts merchandise.
Finally it was time to go to the Winter Garden Theatre to see The Kid with a Bike. It had the same street address as the Elgin Theatre (aka the “Visa Screening Room”), where I have seen two other movies. Two large theaters in one building? Sure enough. Once we were inside, we were ushered up an escalator, and then another one, and another one (or maybe there were only a couple, but it seemed like more than that).
In keeping with the garden theme, there were vines painted on the façade in the front and sides. The ceiling under the balcony was dense with fake branches, and lantern-type lights every few feet. A fellow movie-goer thought the venue would be better suited for ballet or opera than a movie.
The Dardenne brothers return to their familiar social-realist milieu in The Kid with a Bike. Cyril, who’s about 10 or 11 years old, has lost his family. He has no mother; his father has abandoned him, and makes it clear he doesn’t want Cyril in his life anymore.
What would you do if you were in Cyril’s place? His behavior is understandable, but frustrating to watch. Just about the whole movie is a stressful viewing experience, though it ends on a note that allows viewers to breathe a sigh of relief. I didn’t like it as well as The Son, which they made about 10 years ago, but it was an engaging movie and one of the better ones I have seen at this festival.
The Dardennes were asked during the post-movie Q&A why they tended to make movies about boys in trouble. One of them joked that his brother had many problems as child, leading the other brother to make the same joke. In the end, their answer boiled down to “it just interests us.”