Custody (2017) Poster

(2017)

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7/10
Very intense!
jackiescanlon-141406 March 2019
This is an intense film. Especially if you grew up with divorced parents. Everything's truthful. I didn't expect the film to turn into a thriller since it started like a social drama ala Ken Loach. The last part feels like a Hitchcock film sometimes. The cast did a great job, especially the little kid.
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9/10
I rarely experienced that
otacon3822 February 2018
I'm french and this movie have quite a reputation in france. And usually i'm a bit disapointed when i heard people were shocked by a movie when i see it. I'm used to watch korean noir movies or serious subject movies. But here... i was so unconforable watching this, because it is completly realistic. Not that it could happen, but that it is happening somewhere. The actor are marvelous, the tension is great, just watch it, but not alone, don't look what it is about before, just enjoy the pain that you will get watching it :)
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9/10
So heavy So touching .
AhmedMw23 April 2019
This movie gives u the real full experience of abusive person . Every detail gives u what is a normal family deals with every day every hour every second the acting in this movie is brilliant the writing is amazing like who writes this know what is feels like to be in that environment . the cinema photography is overwhelming

Such heavy dark feeling u get after seeing this movie tells u how good the movie was to deliver it to you ,
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8/10
The acting is stunning
jmccrmck-6517223 March 2020
This film will make you uncomfortable in its realism, the scenes with the son and his father have to be seen to understand how outstanding and " life like " their performances are. It is tense and will keep you on the edge of your seat and yet it is no piece of fiction per se but a story taken from real life and rendered in a disturbing and touching way. A good example of the film maker's art with no gimmicks, a real story believably told. Watch it and see.
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9/10
Gutwrenching
armakaan8 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
Just finished watching the film. Overwhelmingly emotional. Superbe acting, real gutwrenching emotions. Especially the young son, his apprehension, his fear of his father. I felt it in every pore. The end is so powerful and everything you should never have to experience as a child as it totally destroys the feeling of safety a child should grow up in. Made me bawl my eyes out.
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8/10
Riveting social drama with impressive emotional form
Genadijus-L6 March 2018
Riveting directing by debuting Xavier Legrand and stellar acting by both actors playing parents (Léa Drucker and Denis Ménochet), and most importantly by the young actor Thomas Gloria. It's been a while since a decent movie by brothers Dardennes, here you'll their style and even more. Real and touching in every scene until the final credits. Precise use of close ups translating the real emotional power of the characters and accurately composed scenes provide a great experience of social drama on screen.
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9/10
Domestic terrorism but you can't look away
eelen-seth10 October 2018
DOMESTIC TERRORISM, BUT YOU CAN'T LOOK AWAY.

You start with a custody battle and both sides have a different view on how things happened. What really went on, you'll never know but throughout the movie you start to unravel the reasons behind everything. And some questions do get answered. Others don't. But in the end, it ENDS!

This film has no score throughout and that was a perfect choice, since it relies on sound and dialogue a lot. Camerawork is stunning, especially a scene where the father chases the son out of the car into a little park in between apartment buildings.

The best acting comes from Denis Ménochet who plays the father (Antoine) and the young actor Thomas Gioria who plays the son (Julien), especially their interactions in the car are pure GOLD. The tension throughout this film is nerve wracking and you can tell anyone can snap at anytime, you're just waiting for it to happen and you're worried for anyone that's standing too close to be affected by the impact.

Director Xavier Legrand won the Silver Lion at Venice Film Festival in 2017 for directing this film.

I attended a matinee session and everyone was quiet throughout the entire film, until one particular scene. That's when I gasped as well and I noticed fellow moviegoers with their hand on their mouth in shock.

"Jusqu'à la garde" (Custody) is so intense it's too much to bear in the best possible way.
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10/10
A very good candidate for the Best Foreign Language Oscar.
MartinHafer20 October 2017
The French writer/director Xavier Legrand was nominated for the Oscar for Best Live Action Short for 2014 with his film "Just Before Losing Everything". This film was about a mother and her children who are fleeing a violent and abusive husband…and it sure packed an emotional wallop. Amazingly, Legrand is back with the same family… and a full-length follow up to the previous film…and it's even better! A reason to watch this is because the most intense, heart- wrenching and well directed 15 minutes make up the final portion of the film…and I could hear folks crying, gasping and calling out as well!!

The film begins with a custody hearing. The judge is listening to the evidence and it's difficult to really know what's going on with the family. Is the father an abusive monster who doesn't deserve to have custody of his 11 year-old son? Or, is the child right when he says he never wishes to have contact with the man again…and he's afraid of the man? Regardless, the judge decides to award joint custody to the father and mother. Inexplicably, the visits with the possibly violent father are unsupervised…and the audience has no idea what's going to happen next. Needless to say…really bad things are going to happen and soon!

The first half of this movie is good…but not amazing. It's all important as set up for the final portion and I cannot say enough about how well all this comes together at the end. Not a film for the faint of heart, but a blood-pumping, Adrenalin-inducing masterful film that could easily be a strong candidate for the Best Foreign Language Oscar. If it's not at least nominated, I'd be very surprised.
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9/10
So dramatically realistic!
wim-vds8 March 2020
Warning: Spoilers
The drama about this film that this happens in our society every day somewhere. It leaves scares to everybody involved for a lifetime.... Very strong intense film. The strength comes from the slowness it moves on culminating I would not rate the violence in this film "moderate"! It is not moderate at all!! Scary!
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10/10
One Of THE Best Films!
thenewpitchfork2 June 2019
I adore the director Xavier. This film is even better than the short film. The acting, the direction, the cast everything is spectacular! You will be hooked to your seat till the end! Must watch! Highly Recommended! Ignore the haters!
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9/10
Can't look away
mlina-7935718 July 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I started watching this at night, because I couldn't sleep. That wasn't such a good idea. First of all, I couldn't stop watching as the impending drama is palpable and you can't look away, you have to watch it unravel. Second of all, that was terrifying. The movie begins by throwing doubt on the father-mother relationship, you don't know who's right or wrong even if the father/ex-husband feels like a beast in hiding. It's subtle, but he seems dangerous, his eyes, mostly, are very cold and his stature is impressive. But the real feat of the movie is its distilled anguish, it's slow, and it feels some scenes aren't useful to the movie but they actually build up until its gripping finale. Anyway, you should watch it, it's masterful and a faithful depiction of the dramas you read in newspaper.
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8/10
A pulse-racing portrait of domestic terrorism
CineMuseFilms15 October 2018
Movies are best consumed without expectations but sometimes a warning is needed. The hyper-realistic French film Custody (2018) is less about child custody than it is a vehicle for depicting the most pulse-racing domestic terrorism you are likely to see in a long while. It is visceral and raw, as is the fact that one French woman is killed every three days by a partner. This film suggests why.

The opening scenes are clinically documentary in style. A magistrate takes submissions from lawyers for estranged couple Antoine (Denis Ménochet) and Miriam (Léa Drucker) over custody of their 12-year old son Julien (Thomas Gioria). It is impossible for us to gauge the merits of either litigant and easy to empathise with both. On the available evidence, the magistrate takes a routine middle path and awards custody, an outcome that will imperil mother and child.

If it were possible to plot the tension curve of this film, it would start just off the floor and work its way through the roof in its final seconds. Initially Antoine behaves like an aggrieved husband who loves his son. Step by step, we see him using custody rights to manipulate Julien into revealing information about his mother. The legally necessary contact between the slightly built Miriam and the towering hulk Antoine become increasingly ominous. His overbearing silence in key scenes drips with menace as she knows his capacity for violence and the law is no help.

This film stands out for the grounded way it depicts the escalation of threat. It keeps actual physical domestic violence out of the picture, and instead shows the psychological pressures of trying to separate from a violent man. The acting performances are extraordinary. Ménochet only has to raise an eyebrow and tensions rise, while Drucker is a portrait of frozen fear. The standout performance comes from young Gioria whose astonishing authenticity belies his tender years. The cinematography powers the narrative and shapes the claustrophobic atmosphere in which a mother and child are being given progressively less space to breathe. Many scenes are prolonged in length to create real-time voids into which is poured unimaginable suspense.

Be warned: this is not entertainment. It is more like stepping into the shoes of a defenceless mother and child who must fend for themselves against a raging beast. The indescribably frightening final scenes re-define the concept of 'toxic masculinity' and make you wonder about today's role models of manhood. Director: Xavier Legrand Stars: Denis Ménochet, Léa Drucker, Thomas Gioria
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10/10
This is what is like for some family's
angryserb19 October 2018
Hard to watch but this movie was a real eye opener , I love the movie, even at the beginning of the movie the dialogue was full on , started from there and continued right to the end ..constant fear for the whole family ... Must see movie.... that little boy did an amazing job !!! This is the real deal of domestic violence:(
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8/10
Convincing family drama with an incredible final 15 minutes
Horst_In_Translation1 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
"Jusqu'à la garde" or "Custody" is a new French movie written and directed by Xavier Legrand and this is his first full feature movie five years after he came up with an Oscar-nominated short film work. And while I don't remember being too big on said short film, at least the first time I saw it, I was mesmerized at times by this 90-minute film we have here. the first 75 minutes are rock solid really, nothing wrong, but nothing too great or memorable either. But the last 15 minutes, when the film basically turns away from family drama into a thriller, almost a horror movie (without supernatural elements of course), you will quickly be at the edge of your seat and you will stay there until the credits roll in. Also liked the way they got these in with the closing door, even if it did not feel having great metaphorical relevance to the story. To me the one who stays most memorable is Denis Ménochet, but that is also because he has the baitiest material probably. And his strong physical acting and menacing aura also fit very nicely. He was a great casting choice here. The movie begins in a way where for a long time you cannot be too sure with whom to side and how to share your sympathies between the two parents because apparently both are making crucial mistakes and the little boy is the one who end sup suffering because of that. But with what happens at the very end, you can easily make a case for the woman not wanting to know her ex-man where she lives now. Also about the last scene, I had a feeling he may actually commit suicide because there were moments before when he went from full rage to slight reason in an instant. Okay, you cannot call suicide reason, but you know what I mean. Also despite the hunting references earlier, I did not really see the escalation with the rifle coming in the end. So yeah thanks to the final quarter of an hour, perhaps the most intense sequence I have seen on film all year, I very much recommend checking it out and I would have liked to see this in the French original, but the German dub version was pretty good too. I also liked some of the subplots. They may not have added too much overall on their own, but they fit in very well with the way things escalate more and more and with that I mean the man's relationship with is own parents, not just the father, and also the daughter's relationship and her struggles in general. As for the escalation between the former couple, it can be said that while, like I said earlier, early on it was not clear he was the major problem, the bizarre love confession, the parking lot meeting (also showing his jealousy for the first time) and eventually the nightly visit made the situation more and more serious within a brief span of time. Back to the apartment I mentioned earlier, it was interesting how they took us on a journey through it early on when the mother is moving in and at the end we are there again when things go very wrong. So yes, there are many interesting things about this film and I am sure in case I ever watch it again (why not given how much I liked it), I will discover some new aspects that add even more spice to the viewing. Probably a contender for best french film from 2017 for me, definitely top5, probably top3 even, and given how much I adore French films, this is quite a compliment. A must-see if you love high-quality family dramas. The praise is justified and the awards recognition is well-deserved. Go see this one.
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10/10
A shockingly brilliant film
pauliewalnuts-493567 July 2020
Warning: Spoilers
One of those films that started at 11pm and I thought I'll watch 10 mins of this first and ended up being transfixed for the next 2 hours I dont have a lot to say about this film,but it must be some of the greatest acting I've ever seen...the fear of the father is absolutely amazing...the son ,the mother...I thought this was real...the end 20 mins is quite possibly the most scariest thing I've seen in movies... I feel bad to give this a 10 because,as a previous reviewer said,this isn't what happened,this is whats happening... An absolute heartbreaking film.....
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8/10
A horror film
Shanghai_Samurai3 February 2019
Denis Menochet, best known to American audiences as the French farmer in the introductory scene of Inglorious Bastards, gives a riveting and horrifying performance as an abusive husband and father separated from his wife and vying for joint custody. This is essentially a horror film, where the tightly wound father and husband is no less fearsom than a monster or killer.
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Toxic Masculinity Story
lavatch22 April 2019
Warning: Spoilers
This film presents an all-too-familiar saga of domestic abuse. While it is important to raise awareness of this tragic topic, the end result of "Jusqu' à la garde" was all too foreseeable in its portrait of a deadbeat, violent dad.

In the film's opening scene, it is already apparent during the court hearing that the father Antoine has a problem when he fails to listen to the judge. The imposing size and strength of the man, as well as subtle indications of past abuse, should have alerted both the wife's attorney and the magistrate to order strictly supervised visitation rights for the man. The judge kept looking down at and reading her papers when she should have been looking at Antoine and asking the right questions.

As the film progressed, the family was far too slow in alerting the police and getting a restraining order against Antoine. A key moment was when Antoine's own parents witnessed his rage and abusive treatment of his little boy. They should have recognized that the kid was terrified of his raging father. Later, the sister of the abused wife witnessed a physical attack on the wife and "threatened" to call the police! What on earth were they all waiting for?

It was especially the catastrophic effects on the children that were so painful to watch in this train wreck of family dysfunction. The occurrences depicted here deserved a far more insightful approach than the predictable story provided in this film.
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6/10
A little insubstantial, particularly when compared to where it could have gone
rabbitmoon24 April 2018
I find it hard to categorize and settle my thoughts on this film. It appears as a serious gritty kitchen-sink style drama, but Legrand keeps his story, ideas and characters very simple, and it eventually comes across as a slightly lame domestic version of an exploitation film. Its a story that could be told far more efficiently as a 30 minute short, without losing any meaning or impact (unless your thing is build-up for the sake of an ending, which the film delivers a lot of).

It was mildly interesting to watch, although not particularly rewarding or stimulating. It just sort of plods along (with great acting mind). It unravels slightly and becomes slightly annoying. Then the last seven minutes or so become tense and gripping, then its all over and the credits roll. I'm just not sure what there really is to take from it - any specific angle (forewarning patterns of a person's intent/trajectory? Horror/suspense film? Character study? Psychology of co-dependency?) could have been delivered MUCH more substantially, effectively and in a way that leaves a much deeper imprint. It all feels a bit too short and tepid to really be worthy of a feature.
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8/10
Cinema Omnivore - Custody (2017) 8.1/10
lasttimeisaw19 January 2021
"If Miriam's obvious lack of awareness of collecting physically evidence (in the short film, we can see bruises all over her body) is a necessary plot device to veer the narrative into that particular grueling direction, CUSTODY compensates by generating the thrill and tension by contemplating danger in extreme propinquity when Julien is obligated to spend time with Antoine, and it soon dawns on audience that what a monster the seemingly benevolent father is. Although he never lays a finger on Julien, but the sheer emotional abuse he unleashes on his prepubescent son is so staggering and deeply unnerving, praise be Gioria, a wunderkind who could withhold such a fusillade of hectoring, coaxing and threatening, then responses with utterly stunning reaction shots, so much so that viewers might seriously concern about his traumatized mentality"

read my full review on my blog: cinema omnivore, thanks
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9/10
great villain
Henry_Seggerman28 November 2020
Everybody hates wife abusers. This guy chews up the scenery with his badness.
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7/10
Well worth watching
julianrosser-440-7878397 September 2020
An excellent portrayal of the mess that relationships can get us in and how we fail to handle them.

Good story and acting and gets very tense in the last quarter. Glad I saw it
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8/10
Intense and simmering performances in this slow burner
vampire_hounddog31 July 2020
When a couple divorce, during the hearing the judge allows visitation rights to the father (Denis Ménochet) to their 11 year-old son, Julien (Thomas Gioria) at weekends. In the following weeks, the boy is relucatant to be with his father and is wary of him, as his mother (Léa Drucker). In time the situation deteriorates further with any trust eroding.

A slow burner of a drama that leads to an intense and dramatic end with some simmering performances, especially from Ménochet. The camera keeps up close and intimately with the characters, adding to its intensity. The opening, lengthy hearing scene is smart as it gives the legal analysis, but not the emotional one while the emotional one unfolds as the film develops.
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3/10
Over rated
daavid_duarte20 April 2019
Seriously, honestly I don't understand why this movie has a high score, this is not a good movie.
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4/10
They let nothing to be lacking
fmt-96-78760812 August 2019
Nothing! With the exception of surprises and nuances. Legrand's lense is so predictable: none movie scene will startle you. N-O-N-E. Many scenes are dramatically too long (pregnancy test, birthday party, bathtub). The length of these scenes brings nothing to the film's comprehension. Unless you are slow. For sure, Léa Drucker, Denis Ménochet and the young Thomas Giorgia (+ a very special mention to the part of the judge played by Saadia Bentaïeb) are impressive. I don't want to downplay their talent for becoming the characters they play but, come on, there is no big fiction in them. The entire movie jibes to the reality. This is both its strength and its weakness at the same time. For wanting to constantly draw a "larger than life" image, Legrand falls at one or two extremes. Nothing is black and white in real life. Despite what Legrand would have us believe.
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7/10
A story of violence in family
imursel7 October 2018
Acting: 8 /Story: 7 /Production values: 7 /Suspence - Thriller level: 7 /Action: 0 /Mystery - unknown: 0 /Romance level: 0 /Film noir ~ neo-noir ingredients: none /Comedy elements: 0 /Overall: 7
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