We went to see Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne’s latest film, Le Gamin au Vèlo, at the Arenberg this evening. At one level, it is another good and at times very moving example of what the brothers do best; portraying grim social reality on the urban fringes. A selfish and immature father (played by Jérémie Renier) deserts his twelve year-old son, Cyril, (played brilliantly by Thomas Doret – curiously, we never hear about the mother) and even sells the kid’s bike to make ends meet.  A hairdresser, played by Cécile de France, rescues the boy from a home and gradually becomes his foster mother. Cyril wants to find money so that his father can live once again with his son and so falls under the spell of a drug dealer and petty crook. But the father refuses the money (we always knew it was the responsibility he was afraid of), ultimately, the boy renounces crime, embraces the relationship with the hairdresser and, preumably, they all live happily ever after. I use irony because the Dardenne brothers have described the film as a fairy tale, with a good fairy (Samantha, the hairdresser) and a bad one (Wes, the drug dealer, played by Egon Di Matteo). I greatly enjoyed the film (to the extent that one can say that about brutal social realism) but for me the improbabilities distracted from the reality. What about Cyril’s mother? Why does Samantha buy back Cyril’s bike and why does she suddenly decide to foster him? At one stage the twelve year-old fells a grown man with a single blow of a baseball bat he can hardly lift. At another, he falls five metres out of a tree and a few minutes later walks away unharmed. Not to be missed then, but take a pinch of salt with you.