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Review: Polisse

Maïwenn's third feature film
By PATRICK Z. MCGAVIN  |  May 24, 2012
2.5 2.5 Stars



The third feature by French actress and filmmaker Maïwenn, about the inner-workings of Paris's Child Protection Unit (CPU), is certainly kinetic, though also mannered and hyperbolic. The dramatic structure, reportedly culled from case studies, is episodic and hyper, shuttling between grim stories of abuse and the cops' equally tormented and combustible personal lives. Thanks to the very gifted ensemble, the movie is certainly lively and often compulsively watchable. The director, who casts herself as a photographer who insinuates herself into the tight group dynamic, is far less successful shaping the work organically. Typically, the film's one great scene, a harrowing sequence involving the fantastic young actress Alice de Lencquesaing (Summer Hours), is cancelled out by the baroquely improbable and absurdly overwrought ending.

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