Starring Denis Ménochet (from the opening moment of Inglourious Basterds), Léa Drucker and Thomas Gioria, Custody is a harrowing tale of a bitter custody battle between two parents, as their son (Luigi De Laurentiis, whose intense performance won him the “Lion of the Future” award at Venice) slowly becomes a pawn in their schemes against each other
After a bitter divorce, Miriam (Drucker) and Antoine (Ménochet) battle for sole custody of their son, Julien (Gioria). Miriam claims the father is violent but lacks proof. Antoine accuses her of manipulating their son for her own ends. Both sides seem to be hiding something; the truth is buried in deceit and jealousy. When the judge awards joint custody, Julien becomes a pawn in a tense conflict that soon brings the family’s fraught past to light.
Check out the harrowing trailer for Custody below:
The film was the winner of the Silver Lion for best director for French actor-turned-director, Xavier Legrand. Custody expands on the plot and characters of his critically acclaimed short and speaking with Variety, Legrand explained how he expanded on the premise of the short into a feature-length film:
“It all started with my short, “Just Before Losing Everything.” The issue of domestic violence interested me particularly; it’s a challenging subject because it can easily be treated as an ordinary human-interest story and it’s not always easy for people to relate to characters. So I took it from a different angle: I focused on the action and the mounting fear and distilled the suspense throughout the film.”
Custody received rave reviews out of Venice, described as a “steady crescendo of suspense” by The Film Stage, and “a scintillating separation drama” by the BFI. In addition to Venice, the movie was screened at the Toronto Film Festival in September and is still making the rounds at the festival circuit, recently playing at the Palm Springs International Film Festival.
Check out the French poster for the film below:
Custody opens in the UK on April 13th. No word yet on a U.S. debut.
Images: Picture House Entertainment