Emmanuelle Bercot’s fourth feature, which opened last year’s Cannes, is a candid, sympathetic, impassioned study of a teenage delinquent surrounded by adults both callous and supportive. On the latter side is a warm-hearted juvenile court judge (Catherine Deneuve) and a devoted social worker (Benoît Magimel); on the other side stand, it can seem, most other authority figures. Sixteen-year-old Malony (Rod Paradot) is clearly a victim of his circumstances and poor parenting from his basket case of a mother (Sara Forestier), but he’s also a bully, a brute, and a sexually violent offender. Part of the strength of Standing Tall is that it refuses to entirely absolve its central character; instead, it counts on Paradot, a powerful new actor, to render him as a convincingly troubled, tempestuous soul. A Cohen Media release.
Q&A with Emmanuelle Bercot at 3:30pm screening; intro at 9pm screening
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