In preparation for the film, director Xavier Beauvois (“Don't Forget You're Going to Die”), who co-wrote the screenplay, spent several months following a police captain in the field and in the office and was even able to pass as a lieutenant at times. Beauvois has said he gained access to every stage of a police investigation, even the most confidential parts like autopsies, and his experiences bring to the film a realistic sense of the daily details of the criminal unit as they investigate the stabbing of a homeless man. Beauvois, along with Roschdy Zem and Antoine Chappey, also portrays one of the detectives.
Beauvois effectively builds tension, both in the increasingly dangerous murder case and in the reactions of the different police officers. An unexpected event causes Captain Vaudieu to struggle with her previous dependence on alcohol. Backed by a strong supporting cast, Baye, who received the French Cesar for Best Actress, gives a superb performance, poignantly showing Vaudieu's continual anxiety and the depth of her pain. Starring Nathalie Baye, Jalil Lespert, Roschdy Zem, Antoine Chappey and Jacques Perrin. Directed by Xavier Beauvois. Written by Cedric Anger, Xavier Beauvois, Guillaume Breaud and Jean-Eric Troubat. Produced by Pascal Caucheteux. A Cinema Guild release. Crime Drama. French-language; subtitled. Not rated. Running Time: 115 min.