Most people think that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is the story of Bilbo Baggins and how he comes upon the “one ring to rule them all.” The prequel story is actually about the adventures of Bilbo and a company of dwarves determined to take back the dwarves’ home from the evil dragon Smaug and reclaim the treasure that rightfully belongs to the leader of the dwarves, Thorin Oakenshield. Thorin and the company of twelve loyal dwarves recruit the hobbit, Bilbo, at Gandalf’s request. Bilbo is naturally taken by surprise and quickly refuses because Hobbits are not people that go looking for adventure. In the end, he accepts the challenge and embarks on a journey that will change his life forever.
From Belgian directing duo Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, comes a rich tale about a young boy, Cyril (Thomas Doret), on a quest to reconnect with his father, Guy (Jérémie Renier, a Dardenne regular). Cyril is staying at a children’s institution when he learns that his father is gone and is unreachable. His innocent naivety shows in his stubborn determination to reach his father, bordering almost on religious fanaticism. He is convinced that his father wouldn’t abandon him, nor would he, as he is told by one of the home’s counselors, sell Cyril’s bike. Whether it is to call the apartment where they used to live (several times), contact the superintendent of their old building, escape the counselors to flee to the apartment complex during recess, and taking a bus back to it, and even lie to a nurse working the medical clinic on the first floor to gain access, this tenacity is readily apparent. While being chased by the counselors, the superintendent finally agrees to let Cyril see the apartment he confronts the stark reality that he refused to accept from the adults around him.