AKA: Dix et Demi
Directed by: Daniel Grou
Starring: Robert Naylor (Tommy), Claude Legault (Gilles), Martin Dubreuil (Dad), Eugénie Beaudry (Karine)
Country: Canada; Effed Up Canadian Movies
Language: French; Effed Up French Films
Genres: Childhood, Misery-Depressing-Mental Illness, Domestic Abuse, Old-Young Relationships
Plot – Spoilers:
10½ opens with a couple of shocking scenes that pave the way for a movie that will most likely have you wincing and perhaps even wonder, What a fucked up movie. And this is mostly down to a knockout performance from Robert Naylor who plays Tommy, a traumatized kid who’s excessively prone to episodes and fits of rage. He’s shunted into a social services center after forcing a smaller kid to blow him.
At the center, there’s no violence from the adults – instead they choose to use the option of restraint when dealing with outbursts. For the most part, the staff actually care about the kids and some of them even carry home the trauma of a day scarred by handling troubled boys. But the center has so many rules and prescribed guidelines that the staff have been trained to follow, everyone seems on edge, ready to explode.
But among all the kids, Tommy is a different breed, none of them seem equipped to handle. Except for Gilles, who believes Tommy need not be a future psychopath waiting to grow up. At one point, when Tommy runs away for a couple of days, the center experiences a calm that everyone seems grateful for.
In another era, Tommy would have been tagged as having been possessed by the devil. This is one of those movies that can actually be harder to watch compared to films with copious amounts of sick violence and is the second work from Canadian filmmaker Daniel Grou here, after 7 Days.