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.
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.
Riveting directing by debuting Xavier Legrand and stellar acting by both actors playing parents (Léa Drucker and Denis Ménochet), and most importantly by the young actor Thomas Gloria. Precise use of close ups translating the real emotional power of the characters and accurately composed scenes provide a great experience of social drama on screen.
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.
(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.