Palatable: Standing Tall

Standing Tall (2015)
Directed by Emmanuelle Bercot
Written by Emmanuelle Bercot, Marcia Romano
Produced by François Kraus, Denis Pineau-Valencienne
Starring Rod Paradot, Catherine Deneuve, Benoit Magimel, Sara Forestier, Diane Rouxel, Elizabeth Mazev, Anne Suarez, Christophe Meynet
Prepubertal years influenced by his screwy, slutty, irresponsible mother (Forestier) lead to a criminal course through foster families, juvenile homes, stretches in rehabilitative facilities and briefly prison, to the ultimate reclaim of a teen joyrider (Paradot) whose precipitant recidivism is dishabituated with the ministration of his compassionate counselor (Magimel), his firm, boyish girlfriend (Rouxel) and a juvenile court’s judge (Deneuve) assigned to his decadal case. This is far better than Bercot’s underwhelming, antecedent On My Way for its moving, unusually wholesome story, and acting that subtilizes rather shallow characters. Deneuve flawlessly underplays her jurist to no disappointment, but neophyte Paradot is a standout who incandescently expresses callow rage, sorrow and tenderness without veering into melodrama. Numerous social workers employed at detention centers also play themselves quite well. Bercot’s and Romano’s barely didactic tale observes simply in its conclusion that paternity’s often an effective means of reformation.

Recommended for a double feature paired with Sweet Sixteen or The 400 Blows, especially for those who care to observe how much more lenience France’s juvenile delinquents enjoy 56 years later.

Author: rbuchanan

I'm an author, lexicographer, cacophonist, ailurophile, bibliophile, cinephile, logophile, inveterate aggregator, dedicated middlebrow, incontestable babe, borderline narcissist, weirdly semi-Mediterranean Native American, and alliterative anastrophe addict. My personality type is superlative INTJ.

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