Year Released: 2011
Compelling - if scattershot - look at the private and professional lives of members of the Child Protection Unit of the Parisian police force as they deal with adults abusing children and have to sift through countless lies and stories in order to arrive at some form of truth (which, as it turns out, is hard to come by). On the poster of the film comes a quote by a critic for the Hollywood Reporter which states this is "like a whole season of The Wire packed into a single film," which is intended to be a compliment but is actually a key criticism of it: Maïwenn does a decent job of trying to tie together her countless storylines and narratives into one 'solid' film, but by the end it really is like watching an entire television series turned into snippets and pasted together and some of the individual storylines are either brushed over or altogether lost in the process. Personally aggravating is the way the officers continuously mock, berate and taunt (and sometimes scream at) some of their suspects: no, these aren't exactly the most noble characters on Earth, but it's the movie's way of feeling superior to these sexually/morally damaged people (and the scene with the Muslim father who has his way with his daughter is just Maïwenn making this her own political platform). There are strengths, however: it does make many a good point about the sick nature of abuse (including the way the abused may feel as if their abusers care for them) and that ending is a stunner.