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Sometimes you have these films in your list or on your shelf where you know exactly that they will at least be interesting, probably great and exciting. Still it takes months or years to get down to watching them, wasting the time in-between with superhero nonsense and part 3 of films that should not have had a part 1 to begin with…

So now, after years of waiting, I finally got around to seeing this film, and it’s touching in the best possible way. A boy of around 12 years, Cyril, abandoned by his father, seeking acceptance from his peers, being unable to understand that fighting any authorities is not the best way of finding a new family. He has no idea how much he saddens the people who really care about him, he stabs them in the heart (and in the arm) so frequently that any sane person would have long abandoned him. But a bit similar to what could be witnessed in “We Need To Talk About Kevin”, some people do not give up on others easily, even if it hurts. And that is astonishing to watch, his part-time foster mother has all the exits wide open, just needs to make the call and get rid of that complicated creature that makes her life a misery. She doesn’t, and apart from Thomas Doret as young Cyril, it is Cécile De France’s depiction of Samantha, the hairdresser, that makes this film great. She is not a tough one as such, she is vulnerable and cannot help being hurt by the behaviour of Cyril, but each time she is on the brink of giving up on the project of creating a caring family for Cyril, she decides against it, and tries some more. And even though she does not like it, she also steps in to clarify the fronts between Cyril and his father, if only by forcing that pussy of an abandoning dad to (kind of) speak out some harsh truths.

Cyril himself is in many ways like all boys his age are, rebellious and ignorant and slightly adventurous and always keen on pleasing his peers. This gets him into deep trouble, but maybe towards the end of the film he has learned some fundamental lessons, and the final scene shows him in a rather spectacular act of what can be seen as redemption.

Splendid art house cinema!

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