Dix et demi (2010)

Dix et demi“This is not a film about childhood, it’s a film about a different kind of childhood” Daniel Grou: Director

It’s not every day that one stumble upon a movie such as Dix et demi. When it comes to powerful, realistic dramas that don’t spare anything to the viewer,  you can count yourself lucky to discover one.  They are rare, with most directors simply preferring to play it on the safe side, sacrificing honesty and objectivity in return for creating a more commercial product that is likely to appeal to a wider audience group. Of course, there are notable exceptions such as:   El Niño Que Gritó Puta, The Interrogation of Michael Crowe, and, to some extent, The Butcher Boy). Personally, I always prefer an independent film with real meaning over many of those that flood the cinemas nowadays.

Before I continue the review of the film, I want to note that Dix et demi is not suitable for viewers under the age of sixteen. (Note: I don’t like this type of disclaimer as many of the issues addressed in this film are universal and could be assessed by viewers of any age.  Yet they are necessary for some of the more conservative readers of my reviews).

Pegatinas personalizadas, pegatinas troqueladas, pegatinas para parachoques - Sticker Mule

Robert Naylor

And now on to the review…

Tommy Leblanc’s life has never been easy. Abandoned by his parents, he spent many years of his young life living with foster families. His troubled past reflected on his character, and his violent behavior caused many of the foster parents to give up on him. At age ten and a half, he is arrested and sent to a rehabilitation center for juvenile delinquents. In many films that deal with troubled children, people working in these centers are portrayed as interested in anything else but the well-being of the kids entrusted to them. Tommy, however, is lucky to find himself surrounded by educators who take their job seriously and try to provide a safe environment for the children who live at the rehabilitation center.

At first, Tommy is calm and polite.  He is curious about the place that is to be his new home. In his own way, Tommy likes to charm people by showing kindness and good manners.

10 et Demi

Yet soon the educators (and the viewer) discover that first impressions are often wrong.  At the slightest provocation or frustration, Tommy becomes aggressive and rude.  During these episodes, he has little or no regard for the rights, safety or feelings of others.  His antisocial behavior causes increasing trouble at the rehabilitation center.  Some of the employees there start wondering if the boy suffers from a mental disorder and are concerned that his repeated and uncontrollable seizures may endanger other kids. The educators are unsure if they have the resources to deal with Tommy and feel ready to give up on him.  Only one of them believes that  Tommy’s behavior would improve if only the staff were able to discover the right way to understand the boy. As the story goes on, one begins to wonder who is more vulnerable — Tommy or the people who try to help him…

10.et.Demi 2010

One of the reasons I chose this film to view and review was the fact that the young lead, Robert Naylor, won an award for Best Performance in a Foreign Film at the 32nd edition of the Young Artist Awards.  Naylor’s talent really stands out as, thanks to his believable performance, one can sense the emotional charge of the story told in Dix et demi.  This story really gets to the viewer, forcing one to face the challenge of choosing a side – if that is even possible when you consider the complexity of the characters in the film.  Dix et demi was filmed in Canada in French, so those not familiar with that language will have to rely on subtitles in order to follow the dialog.

If you like movies with a message, movies that make you think while you are watching them (and afterward) – you should not miss Dix et demi. As far as I am concerned, the film has reserved a place amongst the most powerful coming-of-age dramas ever produced.

Read our exclusive interview with actor Robert Naylor

  • The DVD includes English Subtitles


10 1/2 (2010)
A must see!
"This is not a film about childhood, it's a film about a different kind of childhood" Daniel Grou: Director
Where to get


  1. I’ve noted elsewhere that I was let down by the ending of this film. Robert Naylor’s performance is so powerful, the screenplay so convincing and the storyline so poignant that I felt cheated by it. But I know many people disagree with me on that.

    It is an excellent film. I just feel that for a story that pulls no punches, it should have had more of a knockout.

    Francophones should not assume that they won’t need subtitles for this one. That’s a mistake I made, but the Quebecois accents and dialect (it expanded my knowledge of Canadian profanity for sure!) rendered much of it unintelligible for me. This is not an easy film to find and I’m not even sure if there’s an officially English-captioned version available. Luckily there is a good srt file on opensubtitles.org.

    I have to say too that I think you have under-rated the cinematography in your rating, Georgi. The quasi-documentary style with its hand-held camera technique really brought it to life for me.

  2. Checked out your mind disorders site. Very impressed, this is a site to be checked out fully, lots of info here that you will find very interesting. Especially about your own personality, that _-you did not figure on…..

  3. I have never seen this movie or any like it that I can think of. This looks like a very intence movie that would keep you on your toes, and one that you could not pull yourself away from once you start to watch…Thanks for showing this review

  4. This was so realistic to the life these children have to live, and to know that Tommy (played by Robert Naylor), would have been cast by the way side, but for the patience and persistence of one person, played by Claude Legault, who had the insight to see that maybe some good was inside this child. The movie was moving beyond words and the acting superb. This is real life whether we like it or not. Podz was brilliant to take this into the theatres and make us very aware of what is happening in our society. This is a must movie to be seen and mentally digested.

    • The film also had quite a surprising ending – when I first saw it I was like ….but what happened – now however it makes more sense to me

    • Did you guys interpret the end as i did? It was a… well… more or less happy one where he finaly started to trust his “contact person” and tried to make a change?

    • You are correct it was an ending that was left to your imagination.There was no where else to go for this child, unless it was the streets,. That is why this movie was so emotional so much was left to your own interpretation., but an ending that left you with so many questions. Brilliant movie….

  5. This movie was really moving and i must say that i think that it has become one of my favourite movies. It really captured me during the whole movie and i was on edges at all time.

    The acting of Robert Naylor was really good aswell, in fact… he might just have become one of my favourite current actor. His acting was really superb and i really really really believed his character. Usually with bad or “nothing special” actors you can easily spot notice that they’re not into it etc. But not this time.

    I really hope to see many more movies with Robert Naylor in the future and i also recommend EVERYONE to watch this movie.


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