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Custody(Jusqu'à la garde)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

France · 2018
1h 33m
Director Xavier Legrand
Starring Denis Ménochet, Léa Drucker, Thomas Gioria, Mathilde Auneveux
Genre Drama

Amidst a divorce, Miriam asks for sole custody of her son in order to protect him from his father, whom she accuses of physical abuse. Antoine, Miriam's husband, denies Miriam's accusations and pleads his own case. After hearing both sides, the judge rules in favor of a joint custody.

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What are people saying?

Meagen Tajalle Profile picture for Meagen Tajalle

This film uses perspective to strategically situate the audience either at a distance from the characters or within close proximity to them so by the time the film reaches its climax, the audience is thoroughly entrenched in the perspective of Miriam and Julian, and we feel everything they feel, as if we are inhabiting the same space that they are.

What are critics saying?


The A.V. Club by A.A. Dowd

Custody doesn’t do much more than plunge the audience into this hellish situation, but it shrewdly understands the bad dad’s pathetic pathology, and the film may resonate for anyone who’s grown up under the unhealthy supervision of a mean bastard. Take that as a sobering recommendation.


The Hollywood Reporter by Boyd van Hoeij

Legrand's decision to leave things intentionally unclear early on so he can draw the audience into the family’s problems and consider them from various sides finally works against the third act’s cold hard facts.


Slant Magazine by Chuck Bowen

Custody is concerned with the failure of process to discern human need and perversion, and Xavier Legrand rather ironically follows in the footsteps of bureaucracy by reducing people to statistics.


Empire by David Parkinson

Knowingly blending realist grit with generic guile, this unrelentingly tense account of a fragmented family living in constant fear thoroughly merited the Best Director prize at the Venice Film Festival.


Screen International by Fionnuala Halligan

An almost unbearably-tense, no-holds-barred drive through the nightmare of domestic terrorism, Custody is a can’t-look-away hybrid of gruelling reality and heightened cinematic technique. The mix is jarring, as intended, and this wrenching, heart-stopping film illustrates domestic violence and obsession in a way that makes the fear real.


The Film Stage by Jared Mobarak

The intensity is too much to bear in the best possible way. Legrand knows exactly where to position his characters and what’s necessary to break them. It’s a steady crescendo of suspense despite his source of danger never shifting.


CineVue by John Bleasdale

With Custody, Legrand has created a family drama that plays out as social realism, but it is as intense as a thriller and, with no generic get outs, far more terrifying than Kubrick's The Shining.


Variety by Peter Debruge

Legrand’s achievement — his integrity, one might say — is that he’s managed to cut to the marrow of the situation while remaining keenly sensitive to how such things play out in the real world.


Time Out by Phil de Semlyen

It’s unblinking in a Dardenne-ish way and often hard to watch, with the emotional toll playing on its characters’ faces. The ending is a floorer too.


The Telegraph by Tim Robey

As a demonstration of slighted masculinity being given an inch, taking a mile, and chewing it up with breakneck fury, the film could hardly be more timely or disconcerting. But it understands the ignition point of rage – not just its ugly momentum.

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