Miss It and You're Worthless

by robbiefreeling
March 24, 2006 9:43 AM
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Film lovers and human beings—and those lucky enough to bridge the gap between those two sometimes disparate groups (sorry, Cinemaniacs!)—should be rejoicing this weekend. The Dardenne Brothers’ 2005 Palme d’or winner L’Enfant is coming to theaters this weekend. How good is it? Let me put it this way: I was walking down the street during lunch break yesterday on this particularly sun-dappled afternoon, and suddenly my mind spontaneously jumped to L’Enfant, which I first had seen last fall at the New York Film Festival. The quick recall of the film made me overwrought with emotion, and just the recollection of its encompassing power made me momentarily lose my senses, pass in front of a red streetlight, and almost walk into an oncoming speeding car. Appropriate enough for a film so breathless with incident, so ragged with near-collisions, so fraught with near-catastrophes and ultimate saving graces. It’s unfathomable how Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne have managed to make so momentous so many small narrative incidents in so many amazing films successively, and how they have managed to so rigorously imbue so much passionate, relatable experience to what are essentially dark capitalist critiques. There’s never a moment in L’Enfant when you feel like you can catch your breath; every action teeters on the precipice of emotional collapse and societal devastation. Sound like a disaster film? In a way, yet as always, the Dardennes keep their camera insistently on one main protagonist. Never have I felt so close to someone so utterly alien to my own perceived moral compass. You can read more in-depth Reverse Shotting about L’Enfant here and here, so for now, for the sake of soulful hyperbole, I’ll say that L’Enfant is insanely great, and along with the upcoming Three Times and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu, a force to be reckoned with come time for best of 2006 listmaking. Run, run, run until you’re wheezing with desperation, to the movie theater.

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  • StayPuft | March 27, 2006 10:24 AMReply

    FE2000, your mom is overrated but I don't blog about it.

    I think you just felt too close to the material, bra.

  • brotherfromanother | March 26, 2006 8:31 AMReply

    what, PHAT GIRLZ is overrated? Find Me Guilty? Surely you don't mean L'Enfant, which is super-awesome.

  • filmenthusiast2000 | March 26, 2006 1:19 AMReply


  • StayPuft | March 25, 2006 12:27 AMReply

    What the fuck happened to my PHAT GIRLZ post?

  • clarencecarter | March 24, 2006 10:35 AMReply

    Sames goes for Sidney Lumet's FIND ME GUILTY. Though I'm sure it's not on the level of L'ENFANT, this real, old-fashioned curiosity might have been a minor conversation piece once upon a time. Now...well, after one week in release it's only got a 9:55 showtime at one theatre where I live.

    There's my plug for a worthy little film. And no, I'm not on the Bob Yari Group payroll.

  • brotherfromanother | March 24, 2006 10:02 AMReply

    Uh...what he said.