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The psychological parent trap

A distraught mum, four small coffins…

The opening shots alone sting, but Joachim Lafosse’s based-on-true-life psychodrama is probing rather than button-pushing.

Avoiding shock tactics, Lafosse draws a nuanced lead turn from Émilie Dequenne as Murielle, a teacher whose life with husband Mounir (Tahar Rahim) and their kids is manipulated by his moneyed, adoptive dad (Niels Arestrup).

As this tenuous set-up turns toxic, Lafosse examines oppressive patriarchy but also uses piercing long takes to get under the skin of the unthinkable: when Murielle breaks down in her car, tragedy takes on a heartbreakingly human face.

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