[Film review] The Crime Is Mine [Mon crime]

Reviewed by John P. Harvey.

In 1935 Paris, Madeleine Verdier (Nadia Tereszkiewicz), a stage actress struggling to obtain a significant role, has narrowly escaped the casting couch of a producer and wandered home to the cheap flat she shares with her friend and struggling lawyer Pauline Mauléon (Rebecca Marder).  Incredibly, a police detective arrives not long after her, with the news that the producer she escaped has been found murdered, making Madeleine a prime suspect.

When an incompetent judge, Gustave Rabusset (Fabrice Lucchini), accuses her of the crime, Madeleine learns that a plea of guilty on the basis of self defence could have its advantages, and she plays it up for the performance of her career.  Her failing lawyer will surely get her the right result.

But can Madeleine maintain her guilt in the face of the efforts of veteran actress Odette Chaumette (Isabelle Huppert) to upstage her?  And will her soon-to-be fiancé, André (Édouard Sulpice), disown her, as his father, the tyre magnate Monsieur Bonnard (André Dussollier), has threatened to disown him?

To tell more of the plot would be to give away too much, but there is far more to this quirky tale.  Very much a satire on everything from high society, the star system, and the egos and entitlements it stokes to the French legal system and the ambition and delusions it stokes, The Crime Is Mine is not to be taken seriously and really can’t be taken seriously, but cleverly offers laughs throughout.  Every player costumed and mannered to perfection, every authentically decorated scene beautifully filmed, The Crime Is Mine is seriously fun entertainment.

Screening at Palace cinemas.

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