In Your Hands Review – Solid Story, A Feel Good Triumph Over Circumstance Film

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In Your Hands, from EuropaCorp Films, presents a feel-good film as fate, happenstance, chance or destiny intervenes and two people who would never meet, do, talent is recognized, and the cementing circumstances finally broken.

Directed and written by Ludovic Bernard, In Your Hands stars Lambert Wilson, Kristen Scott Thomas, Jules Benchetrit, Karidja Toure, Michel Jonasz.

The film begins with a fast forward through the Gare de Nord central train station in Paris, we see the speed of the rush as every train throughout Europe and local subways all converge at this point, with thousands of people, locals, travelers, parents, kids, commuters, just one big mix of cultures, all moving through this maze of escalators, stairways, terminals, a race against time to the next moment when out of the madness a piano player stops a few around him who recognize the difficulty of the piece and have a moment to pause and allow the music to invade the disharmony of daily grind.


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Pausing a well-dressed sophisticated man is enthralled, standing behind the pianist, he not only listens but watches his movements, his demeanor. As the virtuoso steps away from the keys, the man, played by Lambert Wilson, introduces himself handing the kid a business card introducing himself as Pierre Geithner the Director of National Conservatory of Music.

Just then the cops shout and the pianist takes off running through the train station, jumping through the turnstiles, making it to the trains before the cops can catch him and off he goes home. By this time, we see him hanging with his crew in the suburbs, outside of the city and clearly outside of opportunity.

Mathieu Malinski, played by Jules Benchetrit, our prodigy is home in an overcrowded apartment, with his single mom working as much as she can. Handling the surrogate parent duties as his mom works, he put his little brothers to bed, and obliges him with a tune. His skill as he plays is so far beyond his present circumstances and for him and his family it is not practical. Playing for fun, for himself, is fine. Making it a profession, that's doesn't happen in this neighborhood.

To earn money, he and his buddies rob houses, tonight he is supposed to be on point watching, just then he sees a majestic grand piano, sleek, shiny, beautiful. Unable to withstand the temptation, he sits and air plays while we hear the police approaching.

Next thing we see Mathieu turning the business card he received from Pierre until he realized he was without options. Soon, a deal was made, and he receives Community Service and told to report to the National Conservatory of Music where he would complete the time.


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This is where the two stories converge, the music department is having some transition issues and Pierre is looking for a prodigy a name to bring back the prestige to the department. While the faculty want to bring in someone whose star appears to be on the rise and would bring notoriety to the department.

Soon Pierre explains to Mathieu as part of his community service he has to take piano lessons with the schools most challenging instructor La Comtesse, played by Kristen Scott Thomas, men walk out of her sessions in tears.


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With all the pieces in place now it looks almost like there may be a chance as Mathieu is finally challenged and even though he has one foot in reality, he has the other in the idea that this may work out.

This is where the film shifts into the third act. In Your Hands is a triumph over circumstances feel good film.

There are many elements that make this film a success. Of course, the talent Lambert Wilson and Kristen Scott Thomas each are perfect in their roles. The musical prodigy is played by Jules Benchetrit, son of writer-director Samuel Benchetrit, in his debut performance.


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The soundtrack is also stunning. For those who enjoy classical music it was filled with works of the masters along with a few contemporary tunes. It also showcases the beauty of Paris. It was lovely.

Well written and well directed the film has all the right notes.Seeing this film at the COLCOA French Film Festival it was followed by a conversation with the director Ludovic Bernard. He spoke on making the film and the speed in which he created the screenplay, telling the audience that the story, "was completed in four hours. The dialogue," he added, "took a little longer."

In Your Hands is in French with English subtitles. TFI Studio is handling international sales.

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