In Safe Hands


Uk | 2019 | 110 mins | Cert 15


Jeanne Herry crafts a story stemming from a delicate two-and-a-half-month state of limbo for a newborn child, Théo, who becomes a ward of the state after his mother gives him up for adoption at birth. In Safe Hands choreographs parallel strands of action: the search for potential parents undertaken by the social workers managing Théo's case, the care and vigilance required for Théo's foster father to properly nurture him in the interim, and the nine-year journey of adoption applications and fractured marriage embarked upon by a possible mother.

Herry’s watchful style – going easy on the handheld in favour of something more composed and elegiac – establishes the momentousness of the transition period between a child being given up and adopted In Safe Hands is a little too quick to let its characters successfully process, in its eagerness to proclaim that fostering works. But this intelligently performed film is still a welcome look at a vital and underappreciated duty of state. Guardian 29th May 2019

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