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150 Ratings

Standing Tall

La tête haute

Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot
France, 2015


La tête haute tells the story of a juvenile delinquent, Malony, and tracks his upbringing as a children’s judge and social worker try to save him from himself.

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Standing Tall Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot

Awards & Festivals

César Awards

2016 | 2 wins including: Best Supporting Actor

2016 | 7 nominations including: Best Film

Lumiere Awards

2016 | Winner: Most Promising New Actor

Bercot moves the action along with unsteady, staccato rhythms that juggle Malony’s simmering rage with his yearning for an ordinary life. By the end of this kindly film we want to give it to him, and though it’s easy enough to write off the climax as frankly wishful, Bercot has cunningly stashed a nascent gift in the prologue to Standing Tall. This tortured young man has an innate talent that will help him earn the future she has bestowed on him, and send his helper into retirement resting easy.
April 01, 2016
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Bercot displays little awareness of how troubling the dynamic is here, especially since Malony’s act not only goes unmentioned, but is seemingly forgiven by Tess, who winds up having sex with Malony several more times. Without pairing these narrative developments with a conscious statement on the ways gender dynamics can complicate sexual desire, Standing Tall quickly devolves into a contemptible, exploitative presentation of sociological matters.
March 28, 2016
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Standing Tall also lays out its agenda through predictable situations and dialogue… It’s in the few scenes when Bercot strays away from her overtly traditional aesthetics that the film communicates something genuine about Malony, something that doesn’t denounce the lack of synchrony between the misery depicted on screen and the privilege of the ones architecting the filmic image.
March 01, 2016
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