This dazzling collection of the works of Belgian siblings Jean-Pierre and Luc is one of the best home entertainment releases of the year. Collating together six of their pictures, beautifully presented by distributors Artificial Eye, the box set features some of the most beautiful and honest filmmaking Europe has seen in recent times.
There is a lot to enjoy in every movie in this collection, but my personal favourite has to be the 2002 picture The Son, a film about a boy who joins a rehabilitation school. As the story moves slowly along we learn the child has a connection with a teacher at the school, and the emotional link is superbly realised.
The Silence of Lorna is also an entry of note. Released in 2008, the film tells a compelling story about an Albanian immigrant who has married a man apparently through convenience more than anything else. However, not everything is as it seems. Gangsters are involved, and the gentle tone of the film quickly spirals into a dark psychological drama.
The most recent film in the collection is 2011’s The Kid with the Bike, a subtle and fascinating picture about a young boy whose father has abandoned him. He becomes acquainted with a kind-hearted hairdresser (Cecile De France) who endeavours to help the boy.
The Dardennes have concerned themselves with human nature and make movies with a delicate sensibility that is not afraid to look at the darker side of life. If you enjoy watching films about ordinary people trying to navigate the difficult world around them, this is the box set for you.
The Dardenne Brothers Collection is released on DVD in the UK on 31 December by Artificial Eye, Certificate 15.