Friday, May 13, 2011

Cannes Coverage 2011: "Polisse"

I don't really know what to make of this film, and that might be a good thing. Set in Paris, France, following a juvenile protection unit, it stars director Maiwenn Le Besco as a photojournalist who falls for one of the cops she's documenting. Isn't that just the way of things? Polisse, intentionally misspelled as to look like a child's writing, has done its part to divide critics to some degree. I always see that as a good thing, as it avoids the risk of high expectations. Furthermore, there's something exciting about heading into a film you're not entirely sure will be good or not.

Brad Brevet (Rope of Silicon), A-: "The joy, pain and heartbreak of the job is felt by the audience as a result of the crimes depicted on the screen, all of which were taken from actual cases. However, none of this would work had it not been for the performances of an incredible cast. Made up of a group of actors I was entirely unfamiliar with, Polisse runs the gamut of emotions, and never lets up as the final frame is one that will stick with you long after you've left the theater no matter how dramatized you may believe it to be."

Eric Kohn (indieWIRE), B: "Rapper Joeystarr delivers a standout performance as French-Algerian cop Fred who manages to both seduce the shy photojournalist documenting the unit (Maiwenn) and later show his soft side, expressing legitimate sorrow when he fails to help a street child separated from his mother. Another touching incident finds anorexic officer Iris (Marina Fois) tasked with naming the dead newborn of a woman who was raped in order to sign the death certificate. Both subplots are extremely affecting, but they lack a cumulative takeaway."

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