France | 98 MINUTES | French | English subtitles
Judge Xavier Racine (Fabrice Luchini) presents a composed and impatient persona at the courthouse over which he presides preferring colleagues and defendants to fear him rather than let his guard down. But behind this mask he hides a divorce and strained personal relationships. When a French-Danish juror, Ditte Lorensen-Coteret (Sidse Babett Knudsen from Danish television series Borgen), is confirmed for a contentious case he is presiding over, Racine finds it increasingly difficult to separate his personal life from his professional life.
Unfolding Racine’s personal story against the backdrop of the courtroom drama in which a young father is accused of murdering his infant daughter, director Christian Vincent (Four Stars, Haute Cuisine) explores the delicate territory of pride and self-perception. The film casts an interesting light on class and behavior and how we’re judged on both—the appearance and mannerisms of the young couple on trial are dissected by the jurors, in stark contrast to unquestioned reverence embodied by Racine. Vincent's film earned the Best Screenplay Award for his finely crafted script and Luchini’s appealing performance the Best Actor Award at the 2015 Venice Film Festival, as well as three nominations at France’s Cesar Awards.