director Maïwenn, is good, it's very, very good. And when it's -- I won't go so far as to say "bad," just maybe -- not so good, rather than destroy itself, as some have claimed, the movie simply deflates a bit before gathering steam once again. This up and down structure does weaken what could have been a brilliant piece of cinema, but Polisse -- that tracks daily life, at work and at play, of the police officers of a Child Protection Unit in France -- is still very much worth a watch, if only for the jolting immediacy of its subject matter, as well as its starry French cast.
Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, above, center) is brought in for questioning. His cowed wife (another brilliant job from Sandrine Kiberlain, above, left) tries her best, but nothing equals the power of money and position, as the film makes quite clear.
Joey Star) tries his best to keep an illegal immigrant mother and her son together. Machinations ensue; the cops will try anything to keep humanity ahead of cold justice, and Mr Starr proves himself more than able to keep up with his better-known acting comrades. For these moments alone, the movie is indelible.
Sophie Cattani, adding yet another excellent turn to her resume of bad mothers), Marcial Di Fonzo Bo as a problemed phys. ed. teacher, and the "rescue" of a caravan of gypsy children (above) perhaps being made poor use of by their caretakers all add to the film's resonance and strength.
Karin Viard, Marina Foïs, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Frédéric Pierrot (above, left, with co-writer Bercot, who does a fine acting job here, as well) and Jérémie Elkaïm. The give-and-take between officers -- particularly that of Viard (below, left center) and Fois (below, right) -- proves interesting and pointed, playing out eventually in ways powerful and unexpected.
Sundance Selects, opens this Friday, May 18, in New York City at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and the IFC Center, and in Los Angeles at The Landmark. Other cities and theaters are in the offing soon. Come May 25, the film will also be available via VOD. Click here to learn how you can get it in at home.