Basing her richly textured script on real child investigation cases, co-writer/director/co-star Maiwenn has gathered an accomplished ensemble cast of French actors—including Karin Viard, Marina Fois, co-writer Emmanuelle Bercot, Nicolas Duvauchelle, and rapper-turned-actor Joeystarr—who convey the emotional strain of the Parisian police Child Protection Unit’s work with gritty realism. With each new case, confession and interrogation, the tightly knit team of men and women face an uphill battle against both criminals and bureaucracy in this sharply written and well acted crime drama.
We sat down with Maiwenn at a roundtable interview to talk about Polisse which won the Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, was nominated for 15 Cesar Awards (including two wins), and was seen most recently at the Tribeca Film Festival. She told us how she researched her story to construct an engrossing narrative based on real events, how she handled the delicate scenes involving children to elicit some very naturalistic performances, and why she decided to play a supporting role in the film. The actress, screenwriter and director also discussed how she discovered during the editing process that working within the constraints imposed upon her by la DDASS, France’s equivalent to the U.S.’s Child Welfare Services, led to one of the film’s most riveting scenes. Read the interview after the jump.
The 2011 Cannes Film Festival award winners were announced today, and I’m excited about just how many are already set for American distribution. Despite mixed (yet still reverent) buzz for Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life took home the Palme d’Or (Cannes’ top honor) before it hits theaters on May 27. Likewise, Kirsten Dunst overcame the controversy Lars Von Trier inflicted on Melancholia to win Best Actress; Magnolia acquired the film in February. Nicolas Winding Refn won Best Director for Drive, scheduled for release on September 16 courtesy of FilmDistrict. Jean Dujardin won Best Actor for his role in The Artist — you wouldn’t expect a silent black-and-white French film to be a hot commodity, but The Weinstein Company picked up The Artist for release later this year. And Sundance Selects will bring us The Kid with a Bike, the latest from the Dardenne brothers, after it tied with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia for the Grand Prix (the runner-up prize to the Palme d’Or).
It sounds like a good year for Cannes, yielding a bountiful crop that we’ll all be able to experience soon enough. Hit the jump for the full list of winners.
Just days before its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, a clip for Polisse has been released, offering a sneak peak at Maïwenn’s first official entry at the fest. The actress, screenwriter and director, who was once married to Luc Besson, is one of the many female filmmakers selected for the official competition this year. She also has a supporting role in the film.
Read the synopsis and check out the images after the jump. The 2011 Cannes Film Festival starts tomorrow and runs through May 22nd.