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Standing Tall

DIRECTED BY Emmanuelle Bercot

Language: French
Subtitles: English
Original Title: LA TÊTE HAUTE

Running Time: 120 minmin
Film Year: 2015
Category: Cinema 360º

Catherine Deneuve should not have done Standing Tall. What sorcery could possibly transform the lovely ingénue of Umbrellas of Cherbourg or the aristocratic courtesan of Belle de Jour into a judge nurturing the future of juvenile delinquents springing from society’s margins? Nothing in her delicate body language or enduringly beautiful visage fits the character she is interpreting in Standing Tall. But Deneuve accepted the role. And nailed it.

How? By tripling her customary tempo, by altering her poise, by repurposing the desk over which her character lords with authority and vigor as a lunch table to be shared with the violent young men whose lives she is determined to salvage. Basically, by being the great actress Denueve has always been.

Deneuve is not alone in this powerful, Dardenne-esque film. She is in the company of two younger actors who have swiftly forged impressive careers: Benoît Magimel (The Piano Teacher, For a Woman) and Sara Forestier (Wild Grass, The Names of Love), and of a non-professional actor who may be the greatest revelation in French cinema in the last decade: Rod Paradot. His poignant, nuanced portrayal of the volcanic yet fragile Malony bears comparison to James Dean in Rebel without a Cause. – Orlando Rojas


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Director: Emmanuelle Bercot
Producer: François Kraus, Denis Pineau-Valencienne
Screenwriter: Emmanuelle Bercot, Marcia Romano

Music: Éric Neveux
Cinematographer: Guillaume Schiffan
Editor: Julien Leloup

Cast: Catherine Deneuve, Rod Paradot, Benoît Magimel, Sara Forestier, Diane Rouxel, Elisabeth Mazev

Emmanuelle Bercot

Emmanuelle Bercot was born in Paris. Her acting credits include My King (2015), for which she was awarded Best Actress at Cannes and which is also screening at this year's Festival. Her directing credits include Clément (2001), Backstage (2005), On My Way (2013) and Standing Tall (2015), which was Cannes' Opening Night film.