Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Review: Maiwenn's 'Polisse'

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood April 9, 2012 at 8:03AM

I finally caught up with one of the films I was sorry I missed from Cannes 2011. Directed by Maiwenn, one of France's excellent women filmmakers, child protection police ensemble "Polisse" offers masterful camerawork and acting, pitched at high energy and emotion.

"With a very, very loose narrative structure -- it's practically non-existent -- the film moves like a documentary, dropping in and out of cases and countering that with peeks into the personal lives of the cops as well,..the immediacy of the film lends itself powerfully to the sequences focusing on the myriad of cases that come through the CPU doors. You couldn't think up the kind of stuff they deal with if you tried, but again, without realizing what she has, Maiwenn thinks she needs to put it over the top,..When the film is true to itself it works wonderfully."

"All too often, the cast look like drama students put into some sort of group improv workshop and told to think themselves into the role of stressed cops. This means they shout at each other, and then they tell each other to calm down,..Some of the movie works: there is a scene that shows the officers – strained beyond endurance – laughing uncontrollably, and inappropriately, at some of the evidence. But elsewhere there are a lot of wrong notes and horrendous tonal misjudgements."

This article is related to: Foreign, Genres, Reviews, Reviews, Cannes, Box Office, Critics

E-Mail Updates

Festivals on TOH

Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.