L'Enfant (film)


Theatrical poster
Directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne
Produced by Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
Denis Freyd
Written by Jean-Pierre Dardenne
Luc Dardenne
Starring Jérémie Renier
Déborah François
Cinematography Alain Marcoen
Edited by Marie-Hélène Dozo
Distributed by Sony Pictures Classics
Release dates
  • 17 May 2005 (2005-05-17) (Cannes)
  • 14 September 2005 (2005-09-14) (Belgium)
Running time
91 minutes
Country Belgium
Language French
Budget €3.6 million[1]
Box office $5.5 million[2]

L'Enfant (English: The Child) is a 2005 Belgian film directed by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, starring Jérémie Renier and Déborah François. The film was released under its French title in the US, and as The Child in the UK.


Bruno, 20, and Sonia, 18, are surviving on her welfare checks and Bruno's petty crimes when Sonia becomes pregnant. Bruno sells their baby to a black market adoption ring to make some quick cash. Faced with Sonia's shock, he regrets his mistake and buys the child back at a premium—but, after being turned away by Sonia, his mounting debts lead Bruno down a quick path to desperation.


Critical response

L'Enfant received mostly positive reviews from critics. Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 86% approval rating, based on 106 reviews, with an average score of 7.5/10. The site's consensus reads, "The Dardennes continue to excel at presenting works of rigorous naturalism, with detached observations of authentic characters that nevertheless resonate with complex moral issues.".[3] At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film received an average score of 87, based on 34 reviews, indicating "universal acclaim".[4]

Awards and nominations

L'Enfant won the Palme d'Or in 2005 Cannes Film Festival,[5] making directors Jean-Pierre Dardenne and Luc Dardenne twice winners of the Palme d'Or, having won the award previously in 1999 with Rosetta. The film received the André Cavens Award for Best Film by the Belgian Film Critics Association (UCC). It was also nominated for Best Film and Best Actor (for Jérémie Renier) at the European Film Awards.

The film was chosen as Belgium's official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film at the 78th Academy Awards, but did not secure a nomination.

See also


  1. http://www.jpbox-office.com/fichfilm.php?id=812
  2. "The Child". Boxofficemojo. Retrieved March 04, 2012.
  3. "L'Enfant (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  4. "L'Enfant (The Child)". Metacritic.
  5. 1 2 "Festival de Cannes: L'Enfant". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-12-06.
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