An infant is born into this world. His parents are homeless minors. The father, Bruno (Jérémie Renier), a feckless hand-to-mouth street hustler, casually sells the baby to black-market traffickers and then, astonished by his girlfriend's hysterical reaction, must scramble to recover the child. As Jean-Luc and Pierre Dardenne's 1999 Cannes laureate Rosetta suggested a Marxist remake of Bresson's Mouchette, so their second Palme d'Or triumph, L'Enfant, revisits Bresson's more abstract Pickpocket in its saga of crime and punishment. L'Enfant is structured as a series of tasks, culminating in a chase that, both metaphoric and intensely physical, is also an agonizing descent into the depths. Above all, this is an action filmor better, a transaction film. It's not just that the Dardennes orchestrate an exciting motor scooter purse-snatching and a prolonged hot pursuit. L'Enfant is an action film because every act that happens is shown to have a consequence.
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