Custody – Palace Nova
An all-too-common scenario – a young family going through divorce and trying to resolve custody arrangements. This wonderful French film covers the issues of the resulting arrangements and impact on the two children extremely well.
The mother, Miriam (Léa Drucker, The Blue Room) is willing for their soon-to-be 18-year-old daughter Joséphine (Mathilde Auneveux) to decide living arrangements for herself. Miriam is desperate to keep her youngest, 12-year old Julien (Thomas Gioria), away from his father, Antoine (Denis Ménochet, The Returned) who wants joint custody. In a letter to the magistrate the boy indicates his preference to be with is mother and not wanting anything to do with his father. After careful assessment of the arguments provided by both parties. the magistrate rules in favour of joint custody. Suddenly Julien is thrown directly into the middle of an escalating parental conflict, where it seems inevitable that sides must be chosen.
The performances of the two children – particularly Julien – are both captivating and heart-rending. Director Xavier LeGrand’s portrayal of this family dynamic masterfully builds into a tense thriller. This film is bound to pull your heart-strings and have you feeling sympathy for all those involved in this powerful family drama. Don’t miss it.