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In Your Hands(2010)
This is a movie about Stockholm Syndrome, where a middle-aged woman is kidnapped by a man holding a grudge and a relationship develops between the two. The English release title of In Your Hands is actually the director's preferred title, Doillon wanted the French equivalent Entre Tes Mains, but it was already taken so she went for Contre Toi, which has a dual meaning of being against you as in being your adversary, but also against you as in leaning against your body.
For more about In Your Hands and the In Your Hands Blu-ray release, see In Your Hands Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on January 15, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Pio Marmaï, Jean-Philippe Écoffey
Director: Lola Doillon
» See full cast & crew
In Your Hands Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, January 15, 2013
Screened at the BFI London Film Festival, Lola Doillon's "Contre toi" a.k.a "In Your Hands" (2010) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The only extra on this release is an original theatrical trailer for the film. In French, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-B "locked".
The film opens up with a short prologue in which a woman (Kristin Scott Thomas, The English Patient, Love Crime) runs out of a posh suburban apartment. She looks confused and scarred. The woman then quickly jumps in a taxi and heads back to her place. There she charges her phone and immediately checks her messages - there is only one, from her mother, who is concerned that she hasn't called in a while.
A series of flashbacks now reveal that the woman is a surgeon and has been missing for some days. She was kidnapped by a young and very angry man (Pio Marmai, Un heureux évènement, Delicacy) before she could go on holiday. The man kept her in an empty room without windows.
In the beginning, the woman tried to explain to the man that she does not know him and that he has made a mistake. But when he revealed to her that his late wife was one of her patients, she realized that there was no mistake. Then the woman started remembering.
In the days that followed, the woman repeatedly tried to escape when the man would bring her food, but failed. The man became angry again and hit her multiple times. She was in pain for days. Later on, he confessed to her that he wanted her to suffer but not like this.
Eventually, the woman and the man started talking. She apologized to him for what she had done and for what she could not do to save his wife. But the man did not think she was sincere. She kissed him to let him know that she was – and he kissed her back. On the following morning, she discovered that the door to the room wasn't locked. She ran away and then contacted the police.
French writer-director Lola Doillon's In Your Hands is a moody psychological thriller that alters the classic formula these types of films typically follow – instead of focusing on the progression of the events it chronicles it proceeds to examine their morality. As a result, the character transformations in the film are far more intriguing than the conflict between the two characters and ultimately its resolution.
The events in the film are seen strictly through the woman's eyes, first as a victim and then as a survivor. In the beginning she is terrified and angry; later on she becomes attracted to the man and their relationship evolves. The man's feelings also evolve, though quite differently.
There is a point in the film where the man and the woman connect. The physical aspect of this connection isn't surprising. The emotional aspect, however, definitely offers some food for thought. Can a woman become attracted to a man who abruptly takes her out of her comfort zone and then consistently abuses her? And if yes, why?
Scott Thomas is terrific as the lonely surgeon who slowly begins to question her instincts. For whatever reason, it seems like she keeps getting far more interesting and challenging roles outside of her native country that often reveal an entirely new side to her talent. Marmai is also convincing as the borderline paranoid widower looking for revenge, and possibly something else.
In Your Hands was lensed by cinematographer Mathieu Vadepied (Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano's Untouchable, Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips).
In Your Hands Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Lola Doillon's In Your Hands arrive son Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
The majority of the film has a rather subdued look - colors range from soft to neutral, looking stable but never lush. There is an enormous amount of close-ups and they always convey very good depth and stability. Contrast is toned down but clarity is excellent. There are no traces of excessive denoising and sharpening. However, I did notice a few extremely light compression artifacts sneaking in early into the film. There are no serious stability issues to report in this review. All in all, this is a very good presentation that should please fans of the film. (Note: This is a Region-B "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-B or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
In Your Hands Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are two standard audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 and French LPCM 2.0. For the record, Artificial Eye have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
The film's sound design is quite modest. The tense atmosphere is occasionally enhanced with light ambient music, but surround movement is extremely limited. The dialog is crisp, stable, clean, and exceptionally easy to follow. Also, there are no pops, cracks, distortions, or audio dropouts to report in this review. The English translation is excellent.
In Your Hands Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
In Your Hands Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Lola Doillon's In Your Hands reminded me of Jacques Audiard's Read My Lips. The latter is clearly a better film, but I really liked the more casual tone of the former. Kristin Scott Thomas is outstanding in In Your Hands. For whatever reason, it seems like she keeps getting far more interesting and challenging roles outside of her native country that often reveal an entirely new side to her talent. RECOMMENDED.
In Your Hands Blu-ray, News and Updates
• In Your Hands Blu-ray - August 15, 2012
Independent British distributors Artificial Eye will release on Blu-ray Lola Doillon's thriller Contre toi a.k.a In Your Hands (2010), starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Pio Marmaï and Jean-Philippe Écoffey. The preliminary release date set by the distributors is November ...
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