Daniel Grou – Podz

2010
Les Sept jours du talion 77
[ review ]

2010
10 1/2 (2010, Daniel Grou – Podz) 56
[ Podz’ first feature, “Les Sept jours du talion”, was not perfect, but its qualities strongly outweighed its flaws. Now, in “10 1/2”, there is still quite a bit to admire, but I feel like this time the negatives slightly overcome the positives. The big problem is Claude Lalonde’s screenplay which, while undeniably well-informed about its subject (Lalonde was once an educator in a juvenile detention center himself), is just not very good writing. In other hands, it could have easily led to an unbearably melodramatic, miserabilist and didactic film. Podz mostly avoids those traps by keeping everything barebones: stark visuals, handheld camera, shots that are often shaky, partially out of focus or obstructed, no music, scenes filled with only silence or background noise, etc. As the educator in charge of a new kid in juvie who displays aggressively antisocial behaviour, Claude Legault is solid if not extraordinary (his role is too one-note for that), young Robert Naylor is generally convincing as the problem child in question, and I liked Martin Dubreuil a lot as his deadbeat father… Still, the sometimes clumsy storytelling and clunky dialogue kept bugging me, up to the pointless and manipulative last big scene with the old man (you’ll see which one I mean) and the non-ending that follows. Thanks to Podz and his actors, “10 1/2” is not nearly as bad as it could have been, but does that make it good? I’m not so sure… ]

2012
L’affaire Dumont 62
[ review ]

2014
Miraculum 57
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

2016
King Dave 90
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]