The Besson couple divorce. To protect her son from a father she accuses of violence, Miriam asks for exclusive custody. The judge grants a shared custody to the father whom it considers abused. Taken as a hostage between his parents, Julien will do everything to prevent the worst.
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Bouleversant, juste, précis, d'un réel inouïe. Une violence émotionnelle rare. Je l'ai vu il y a un mois et j'en ai encore des frissons.
Moving, so accurate, so real. of a rare emotional violence, I saw it a month ago, and I still have goose bumps.
First and foremost, the director smartly uses a very strong story about violent emotions to show desperation and points of view. In the first part the viewer is never let alone with just one character, and the movie only takes sides in the second half. Anxiety and uneasiness build up by the minute, to a climax. Minor stories go on, as in life most people go on and notice nothing until it's too late.
What bothered me most was the father as moral monster, a characterization choice that turned the film from realist drama to horror. Yet for all its horror it feels no less real; and the anchor of believability is nowhere more than in Julien's half-stoic face: wherein the inscription of an inexpressible weight of psychic violence upon the surface of a complex negotiation of impossible emotional terrain.
Digital. In the commercial exhibition, always dominated by the economic-random factor, this film makes an immense figure of exception, for two reasons: it has a very own cinematographic conception and fulfills it until the end, always direct, in growing, and because using a "realistic" sound, without any kind of musical accompaniment, it fulfills with density the naturalism that underlies it. Intense.
(Cannes 2017) Rarely has a film affected me so physically that I could barely breathe, and never before have I seen a film where - on more than one occasion - I instinctively reached out to the screen in an effort to save the characters. An unflinching look at domestic violence: psychological violence (games), emotional violence (passive aggression), as well as physical, with standout performances all round.
Very cleverly constructed story of domestic violence that highlights with absolute clarity the damage done by psychological abuse. It also shows really well the misplaced idea that as parents we own our children, in this case like a piece of property that the father feels absolutely entitled to. Great uncomfortable viewing! 4 stars
I think that the father figure could have been a little more nuanced... the actor that was cast (his physiognomy) and the character's actions made the powerful third act a bit expected. The little boy was astonishingly good in all those tense moments. A great start for director Xavier Legrand.