Pedaling its way into theaters this weekend (and surely a lot of hearts too) is the Dardenne Brothers’ beautiful and poetic The Kid with a Bike, whose red-shirted, redemption-bound lead, Thomas Doret, should be penciled onto your shortlist of Best Actors for 2012. They may not be as common as the boy-and-his-dog tale, but stories about kids and their bikes have long been hitting screens (as evidenced herein, the 1980s, in particular, had a bike-film free-for-all). So before you check out this new can’t-miss slice of cycling cinema, dig into our list, likely the only one to put Nicole Kidman in the company of Lori Loughlin.
Henry Thomas in E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982). It’s only one of the most iconic images in American film: Elliot (Henry Thomas) sailing across the moon on his bike, with little E.T. tucked into a crate strapped to the handlebars. This forest flight has been dubbed by some as cinema’s most magical moment, and Spielberg famously went on to incorporate the shot into his Amblin Entertainment logo. It’s bike riding immortalized, alright. Feel free to grab your Reese’s Pieces before clicking on.