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Entries in Custody (4)

Tuesday
Mar052019

Belated César Winners List

Eeek! During Oscar madness we totally forgot about the Gallic Oscars cross the Ocean. How rude of us! For completism's sake here is the list of winners in case you also missed the news.

BEST PICTURE

  • Memoir of War, dir: Emmanuel Finkiel
  • The Trouble With You, dir: Pierre Salvadori
  • The Sisters Brothers, dir: Jacques Audiard
  • Sink or Swim, dir: Gilles Lellouche 
  • Guy, dir: Alex  Lutz
  • Custody, dir: Xavier Legrand
  • In Safe Hands, dir: Jeanne Henry

Custody's four wins reminds us that it's still so weird that France didn't push it as their Oscar prospect last season. The other big winner was Shéhérazade about young lovers on the mean streets of Marseille which was not nominated for best picture but won each of its three nominations. Sink or Swim, the nomination leader and dadbod comedy, which opened too late to be France's Oscar submission last year, only took home one prize. Supporting Actor...

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Friday
Jan252019

"Custody" and "Sink or Swim" Lead the César Nods

by Nathaniel R

"Sink or Swim" leads the César nominations

Apologies that we're late in sharing the news of the César nominations! They arrive so hotly on the heels of the Oscar nominations that it's easy to miss them in the golden rush. This year, Custody (the critically beloved movie that France passed over for Oscar submission this year) and Sink or Swim lead the nominations with ten each but the English language western The Sisters Brothers, from reknowned French auteur Jacques Audiard is close behind with 9. It flopped hard in US theaters but it's reception in France is apparently much rosier. Famous people nominated include Isabelle Adjani, Adele Haenel, Audrey Tatou, and Johnny Depp offspring Lily Rose-Depp but fans of French cinema will recognize a lot more of the names than just those.

Nominations and commentary follow...

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Thursday
Apr212016

Tribeca: Custody

Team Experience is at the Tribeca Film Festival. Here's Manuel on "Custody".

"I wanted to have the film center on female characters." That was James Lapine in a post-screening Q&A of his latest film, Custody, which premiered this past week. And boy has he delivered. Steering pretty far from familiar ground for him (he of Into the Woods and Six by Sondheim fame), Lapine has crafted a mosaic-like portrait of the labyrinthine bureaucracy that are the family court proceedings in New York City. Sara Diaz, a young single mother of two (Catalina Sandino Moreno, putting those wounded eyes to great use), finds herself embroiled in a custody battle when an accident leaves her son with a black eye that forces the school to call child services. Sara is assigned to a freshly minted lawyer, Ally Fisher (Hayden Panettiere, in her most mature role to date) who quickly realizes there's more to this case than her client leads on. This makes pleading her case at Martha Schulman’s court all the trickier, especially as the city is still reeling from a previous tragedy caused by a failure in the system; all involved are committed to not letting another child be sent back to a negligent household.

The structure of the film is such that we see the court proceedings but also get to know these characters: we see Schulman (Viola Davis, imperious and sympathetic in equal measure) as she struggles with marital problems, and see Sara adjusting to the increasingly frustrating ordeal of being separated from her kids, while Ally finally attempts to bring closure to a family secret. And while these three actresses are fantastic all around, coloring their interactions with the complexity and nuance which Lapine's script demands, it is Ellen Burstyn, in two key scenes as Ally’s grandmother, that gives everyone a master class in acting. She's helped by a prickly (and at key times light-hearted) script that grapples with Big Issues but wraps them in personal stories that never feel (solely) didactic. 

That is, until the last 20 or so minutes when Lapine inexplicably gives Viola and Catalina two monologues that play like bluntly-written thesis statements for the film. They’re impassioned pleas that nevertheless sell the screenplay short, giving viewers who would dub this a "TV movie on the big screen" all the Law & Order/Boston Legal comparisons you'd ever need. 

Grade: B / Performances all around: A

Monday
Jan182016

5 Thoughts I Had While Looking At Those Suicide Squad Posters

Manuel here. Guys. There’s a bunch of new posters for the new Viola Davis movie! The two-time Oscar nominee may well be very busy with her TV gig, How to Get Away with Murder (anyone watching season 2? Did we jump prematurely from the never-quite sudsy enough show?), but she’ll next be seen in one of the Internet’s most anticipated films of the year: Suicide Squad.

The DC anti-heroes film released a number of gorgeous character posters ahead of the film's trailer premiere later this week, that had my mind reeling. [more...]

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