In Your Hands [Contre Toi]

"Very Good"

In Your Hands [Contre Toi] Review


Subtle and involving, this dark drama maintains a fierce sense of perspective that never allows any side-plots to distract us. For us and for the central character, the situation is all-consuming, haunting and deeply perplexing.

After her last day at work before going on holiday, maternity doctor Anna (Scott Thomas) returns home to find a man waiting for her. Yann (Marmai) kidnaps her and locks her in a barren room, giving her enough information to figure out why he has her. But she has no idea what he's going to do next. And it seems like he doesn't either, especially as his cruelty shifts into compassion. So when one day she finds the door unlocked, she's not sure if she should report him to the police.

The film opens with Anna's harrowing return home, then fills in the story as she tells it. But the events are so complex that we can understand why she's not sure how to react. Yann is a good-looking young man who's emotionally devastated by the original events that brought them together; he's not a bad man, and yet he has done something terrible. But is her affection for him misplaced? She's not sure, and neither are we.

Filmmaker Doillon plays on this dilemma beautifully, never over-egging the events to let us know how we should respond. She keeps the camera tightly within Anna's point of view, letting us see the conflicting moments that make it difficult to make a definitive response. It's obvious why she would be attracted to this vulnerable, sensitive man though he's her abductor. But can they have a happy ending together?

Scott Thomas and Marmai both deliver transparently brittle performances that make it difficult for us to judge them. Meanwhile, the deliberately evasive filmmaking and acting play to our sympathies, so while if we're shocked by the violence, we understand where it comes from. Acting out of desperation is only human, right? In other words, the cast and crew draw us right into the heart of the situation, then have the nerve to let us sort out how we might respond.

Which is a maddening but refreshing way to tell a story. Especially in preachy times.



Facts and Figures

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Cast & Crew

Director: Lola Doillon

Producer: Saga Blanchard

Starring: as Anna, as Yann, Jean-Philippe Ecoffey as Policier déposition, Marie-Sohna Condé as Caroline, Marie-Christine Orry as la concierge, Vinciane Millereau as Milène, Sophie Fougère as policier accueil, Jean-Louis Tribes as Michel, Laurent Cyr as policier, Noëlle Boisson as actrice, Olivier Galliano as acteur

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.