This time last year, Maïwenn’s “Polisse” was days away from winning the Cannes Jury prize. It would go on to travel the global festival circuit and pick up a pair of Césars along the way (it was nominated for thirteen). Sundance Selects releases the film May 18, and adult audiences should treat themselves to this very human drama. Writer-director and co-star Maïwenn leads her ensemble cast (including Emmanuelle Bercot, who co-wrote) through the aches, pains and necessary-to-survive humor of her French police officers working within Paris’ Child Protection Unit.
While the cases they deal with often seem absurd, Maïwenn had actual police officers on set during the entire shoot (which included over 150 hours of dailies) to ensure the narrative’s credibility. The real accomplishment of “Polisse,” in addition to handling sensitive material with light humor, is its tapestry of multiple characters and their interwoven stories and personalities. It seems unjust to single out just one from the stellar cast, but French rapper-turned-actor JoeyStarr’s “Fred” (who also starred in “The Actress’ Ball”) is a revelation, with intensity in every word and movement.
Check out our exclusive clip and the trailer below. Here’s Anne Thompson’s review and round-up:
This dense film covers an astonishing amount of ground, via multiple cops and cases. It’s like an entire season of a police procedural on speed and steroids. That’s both good and bad. While Maiwenn covers the war between the sexes, generations and classes as well as established order vs. societal chaos, some scenes get short shrift. You feel the pressure these police are under, their need to release it–comedy relief is welcome–and the sacrifices they make for the greater good. The film is very real–and very grueling.