Inside a Paris child-protection unit.
Directed by Maïwenn
This “gripping” French police drama “plows through some harsh, horrifying realities with unflinching sobriety,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Actress and filmmaker Maïwenn plays a wealthy photographer who embeds with a child-protection unit in Paris to witness its battles against the foulest crimes, including child abuse, rape, and prostitution. As a director, Maïwenn employs a “rough, ragged narrative structure and a correspondingly hectic visual style” to make her fictional chronicle “feel less dramatized than witnessed.” The movie “leaps from one crisis to another with an attention-deficit alacrity that occasionally borders on absurdity,” said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. “But what makes it such a singular experience is the convergence of fine acting, moral urgency, and a willingness to linger on moments of great intensity.” Not every story line works, but “the movie as a whole gets under your skin,” said Sheri Linden in the Los Angeles Times. Certain scenes, as well as the dogged justice-seeking central characters, “resonate long after the screen goes dark.”