With a Jury Prize from Cannes and a Sundance Selects designation, don’t say you haven’t been warned! Writer/director/star Maïwenn’s docu-flavored police procedural on a juvenile protection unit comes across like a filmed ‘bible’ for some unnamed, plot-heavy, ensemble tv series, a sort of Frenchified NYPD BLEU: Pedophile Division, loaded with dated ethnic clichés and predigested heart-tugging tropes. The film reaches its nadir halfway thru when the unit parties-on after getting some good news on a case. Maïwenn, playing the unit’s emotionally & artistically stifled photog, reluctantly cuts a rug with the group’s tough-but-tender cop. The station’s token black (natch), he’s just been ragging on her, but loosens her up on the dance floor, getting her to lose the glasses and let down her hair. Not metaphorically, literally. And there’s more fun at the end with a ‘surprise’ suicide that Maïwenn (as director) intercuts with one of the rescued tykes doing gymnastics. Hey, they’re both flying thru the air, non?
SCREWY THOUGHT OF THE DAY: Maïwenn is herself a sex crimes victim (in some countries) having started an affair with director Luc Besson @ 15 before marrying him & having a kid @ 16. Ah, l’amour.
WATCH THIS, NOT THAT: Maurice Pialat/Gerard Depardieu’s near-classic POLICE/’85, out in a new transfer and good going two-thirds of the way.