Custody (2017 film)

Custody (French: Jusqu'à la garde) is a 2017 French drama film directed by Xavier Legrand and starring Léa Drucker and Denis Ménochet. It was screened in the main competition section of the 74th Venice International Film Festival where it won the Silver Lion.[3][4] At the 44th César Awards, Custody won the awards for Best Film, Best Actress (Drucker), and Best Original Screenplay.[5]

Film poster
Directed byXavier Legrand
Written byXavier Legrand
StarringLéa Drucker
Denis Ménochet
Release date
  • 8 September 2017 (2017-09-08) (Venice)
  • 7 February 2018 (2018-02-07) (France)
Running time
93 minutes
Budget$3.5 million[1]
Box office$3.6 million[2]


Miriam Besson and Antoine Besson are a divorced couple. They have a daughter close to the age of eighteen, Josephine, and an eleven-year-old son, Julien. Miriam wants to protect her son and keep him away from his father, whom she accuses of committing acts of violence. Therefore, during the trial, she asks for the exclusive custody of the child, above all because Julien himself doesn't want to see his father again.

Despite Miriam's arguments and a letter from Julien, the judge responsible for the case grants shared custody and forces the child to spend the weekends with his father. Julien only wants to protect his mother from the physical and psychological violence inflicted by Antoine.

Antoine wants to continue to exercise his power over Miriam and Julien with pressure and threats to the child, an attitude that makes Antoine hated by his own parents who decide to chase him away. At Joséphine's 18th birthday party, Antoine comes back and, in order to find out Miriam and Julien's new address, he tries to immobilize his ex-wife by holding her throat, until she is saved in extremis by her sister Sylvia, who threatens Antoine to call the police if he ever shows up again.

One night, while Miriam and Julien are sleeping at their home, they discover that Antoine has learned about where they live and, armed with a rifle, tries to work his way up to enter the house. Miriam and Julien barricade themselves in the bathroom and call the police who arrive and manage to disarm and arrest Antoine before he can kill anyone.



On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 94% based on 108 reviews, with an average rating of 7.8/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Custody uses formal restraint — and a series of searing performances — to take a hard-hitting look at the often painful bond between parents and children."[6] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 83 out of 100, based on 21 critics, indicating "universal acclaim", and is listed as a "Metacritic must-see".[7]

For The Canadian Press, David Friend said, "Xavier Legrand captures unsettling performances from his entire cast, especially the young Thomas Gioria as the child caught in the midst of turmoil."[8] Peter Rainer of Christian Science Monitor noted "the ordeal of the children is not skimped. They bear the brunt, and the legacy, of the anguish." [9]


  1. "Jusqu'à la garde (Custody) (2018) - JPBox-Office". Retrieved 31 January 2019.
  2. "Custody (2018) - International Box Office Results - Box Office Mojo". Retrieved 9 March 2019.
  3. Anderson, Ariston (27 July 2017). "Venice Competition Includes Films From George Clooney, Guillermo del Toro, Darren Aronofsky". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  4. Anderson, Ariston (9 September 2017). "Venice: Guillermo del Toro Wins Golden Lion for 'The Shape of Water'". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 9 September 2017.
  5. "Cesar Awards: Xavier Legrand's 'Custody' Wins Best Film". Variety. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 23 February 2018.
  6. "Custody (Jusqu'à la garde) (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  7. "Custody Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 31 August 2018.
  8. Friend, David (16 September 2017). "Five to watch: Standout TIFF films that flew under the radar". CTV/The Canadian Press. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
  9. "'Custody' doesn't skimp on the ordeal of the child in a custody battle". Christian Science Monitor. 20 July 2018. ISSN 0882-7729. Retrieved 7 August 2019.
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