Reception & Influence

Genre: Art House & International, Drama

Critical Reception & Influence: As a film directed by the Dardenne brothers, L’enfant had received a very favorable review.  Many film critics praise this piece for its clarity in portraying the lives of a couple who struggle to get money but have just given birth to a baby.  The Dardenne brothers have been able to create a movie that follows a hard hitting and emotional subject without getting emotionally involved.  We are able to watch a tragic situation unfold without the attachment to any of the characters.  Many critics have found that aspect of the film quite extraordinary; being able to follow a complex narrative with a detached and almost light-hearted view. It is a complex style of film making that the directors have manage to successfully accomplish.  This film has been praised by many and is supported by the numerous awards and nominations it has received.  The brothers have received the Palme d’Or award at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival, André Cavens Award for Best Film from the Belgium Film Critics Association, Best Film and Best Actor (Jérémie Renier) at the European Film Awards, on top of many other awards and nominations. This film has been influential by the style of film-making it uses.  The genre of Art House has been around for a few decades but it is in the late 90’s and early 2000’s when it really took off.  Directors such as the Dardenne brothers are partially responsible for this.  Being able to create a film for a very specific audience and produce a message that can affect viewers in a deep way is the bread and butter of this genre.  L’enfant has proven that it is able to do this with ease, which is why it has influenced many directors in this genre.