The delicate and emotionally precarious path of a newborn put up for adoption is the subject of writer-director Jeanne Herry’s Pupille, which follows several adults and one bright-eyed baby boy from his birth to the moment he finally lands a home.

Intelligently observed and backed by a strong cast, this well-performed ensemble piece oscillates between documentary-style study of the French social care system and tearjerker. Released by StudioCanal to strong reviews, the film could find a decent local audience over the holiday season, with possibilities for limited theatrical in Francophonia and beyond.

Hopping from one character to another, with an infant providing the narrative throughline, Herry’s script digs deep into the legal and psychological particulars of France’s anonymous adoption system (called “l’accouchement sous X”), where mothers who wish to give away their newborns can do so without identifying themselves.

Doctors, nurses, social workers, psychiatrists and potential parents all come into play as we follow the child — who’s temporarily named Theo — over a three-month period. - Hollywood Reporter


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