Custody Screen 5 articles



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  • The judge had no proof of Miriam’s claim that she was physically hurt by her ex-husband, but the mention of the incident hangs over the entire film as it progresses inexorably towards an explosive ending. Custody masterfully works up the tension without ever falling into a callous treatment of a difficult issue, giving victims of abuse a voice and complexity rarely seen on the big screen.

  • If it’s never really occurred to you before what a strange word “custody” is, and how its two meanings — guardianship and imprisonment — are complementary yet also inherently at odds, be prepared to spend 90 gripping minutes constantly turning that over in your mind during Xavier Legrand‘s tense, terrifying film of that title.

  • With just one prior short under his belt (2013’s Oscar-nominated Just Before Losing Everything, which tells the story of Miriam’s initial escape from Antoine), Legrand appears to have emerged out of the gate as a ready-made auteur. It may be that Custody lacks the narrative complexity to hold up to repeat viewings, but it’s one hell of a calling card, and perhaps the most dazzling fusion of grim social realism and giddy genre thrills since Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days.

  • One of the most harrowing films I've seen in a long time, Custody is notable for slightly adjusting its point of view so that the spectator is caught off-guard by the extent of Antoine's (Denis Ménochet) abusive behavior. Once you have seen Custody and gone through its emotional grinder, it's hard not to look back at the opening scene as a kind of travesty. How could the magistrate award joint custody?

  • While in places you can see the film Legrand is trying to make—a domestic mosaic of sorts—in the end, Custody comes off as far too formulaic and vague. It’s a case where a film’s thankfully short 90 minutes feels less like a precise selection of scenes and more like a lack of sustainable drama.

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