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Directed by Maiwenn

 France, 2011

 Cornerhouse, 16 June 2012

Television has had an adverse influence on this film, a crime drama all about a police unit that investigates paedophilia and child abuse.

The problem is that it is altogether too episodic: we skim the surface of one case, then in no time at all we’re on to the next.

Although the actors are terrific, they’re too often underused and wasted: Louis-Do de Lencquesaing, for example, plays an intriguing monster but he is on screen for all of two minutes, tops.  And we are left in the dark as to whether his character gets his comeuppance or not.  This one case, dealt with deeply, would have been good enough by itself to sustain a film.  And Louis-Do de Lencquesaing (he’s the actor who played Juliette Binoche’s husband in Elles) could have carried it off, of that have no doubt.

In truth, it’s an OK film with a killer ending; but all those incomplete cases and loose ends are vexing to contemplate: Ed McBain must be turning in his grave.  And what they indicate also is that the correct canvas for a multi-strand narrative like this is a TV series, not a feature film.