A journalist covering police assigned to a juvenile division enters an affair with one of her subjects.A journalist covering police assigned to a juvenile division enters an affair with one of her subjects.A journalist covering police assigned to a juvenile division enters an affair with one of her subjects.
And then I tracked down Mick LaSalle's San Francisco Chronicle review and he gave me the perspective needed to understand this film. It is this: Maiwenn Le Besco was the model used for Natalie Portman's film debut (at age 12) in The Professional. Maiwenn came to the attention of that film's director, Luc Besson, at age 15 and had his child at age 16. It all makes sense when viewed through that lens.
The officers of the children's protective services unit often seem to not like children at all, let alone view their job as one of protection. They are unbelievably rude to children and adults alike, physically violent to the people they bring in for questioning, openly mocking & humiliating of adolescents who've been coerced into sexual acts, have a perpetual chip on their shoulder as to their wider standing within the police force, overreact to most everything, and seem to spend an inordinate amount of time having meals and drinks and evenings out with each other as a group. Many of the user reviews chalk this up to some sort of battle fatigue in a group who takes their job so, so seriously. It seems to me, however, that this is a group of people with open disdain for much of the rest of the population, and each other, and they seem to have the opposite reaction to specific cases as one would expect from a professional investigative officer: hysterically leaping en masse into a citywide search for a woman who has taken a child, perhaps her own, vs. lovingly telling the boy whose coach molested him that the man might one day return to coaching because prison time will have taught him that what he did was wrong. This only makes sense from the perspective of someone who has personal experience with her voice being diminished by those who should have protected her.
I notice also that some reviews comment on the ending making no sense and being really rather terrible. It is hard to know which piece of the ending they are speaking about but let me just say that, to me, that last bit with Iris was the most real part of the entire film. I totally understand every aspect of that. Especially with Mick's insight.
- Jan 25, 2013