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My crime: the malicious pleasure of François Ozon


CRITICISM – Twenty years after 8 women, the director returns to light comedy, with a deliberately theatrical film.

The wink is smart.

With his new film in the form of a crime comedy pastiche, what a pleasure to find the mischievous François Ozon who had already enchanted us twenty years ago with

8 women


Adapted from a play by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil, staged in 1934,

Mon crime

immerses the viewer in France between the wars.

In a reconstituted Paris where the quiet strength of a patriarchal power never questioned dominates, the young and pretty Madeleine Verdier (Nadia Tereszkiewicz, discovered in Les


), a penniless actress, is accused of the murder of a famous producer, libidinous at will, which is of course not without evoking Harvey Weinstein.

Read alsoEverything went well, by François Ozon: an ode to vitality

Helped by her best friend Pauline (Rebecca Marder), an unemployed lawyer, the actress seizes on crime and brandishes it as a banner of virtue.

Public opinion immediately takes up the cause for this charming ingenue.

The actress is acquitted for self-defense.

Thus begins a new life of glory and prosperity for the two women.

Unless the truth comes to spoil the party and ends up coming out in the open...

Ozon cleverly knits together a plot of real fake boulevard theatre, carried out at full speed, fast and fluid, boldly assuming its artificiality.

In each shot, one could almost hear the formula stated from 1966 to 1984 at the end of Pierre Sabbagh's famous television program “At the theater tonight”: “The sets are by

Roger Hart and the costumes by Donald Cardwell.


Maliciously amoral

Ozon likes to play with all the artifices of theater and cinema to better cover his tracks.

This claimed theatricality is not embarrassing, on the contrary.

It is the charm of the film and allows the filmmaker to develop an attractive gallery of portraits with actors, each one funnier than the next.

True to form, the filmmaker has a field day sketching the female characters.

Nadia Tereszkiewicz is sparkling and mischievous as a naive young actress wanting to become famous.

Rebecca Marder steals the show as a lawyer defending the cause of women, with the accents of Gisèle Halimi before her time.

Read alsoIsabelle Huppert, a feared and admired Madonna

But it is the irruption of Isabelle Huppert, an old silent film actress wishing to return to the front of the stage (like Gloria Swanson in Wilder's

Sunset Boulevard

) that allows the film to move up a gear.

Maliciously amoral, playing with the borders of true and false, the director enjoys himself like a little madman.

It is said in the film that the character of Isabelle Huppert was the heroine of a successful silent film,

The Wonderful Flute


Except that this movie exists!

It dates from 1910, and was directed and performed by Max Linder.

Advocacy for female emancipation

As for the actors, Ozon also assigns them real roles worthy of the commedia dell'arte.

Fabrice Luchini is irresistible as a fastidious prosecutor, determined to complete the trial as quickly as possible.

Ozon even goes so far as to dress up the ch'ti Dany Boon with a Marseille accent, which is not lacking in salt.

But beyond the twirling dialogues, the cascading twists and turns that give this baroque and joyful farandole its hectic rhythm, pierces a certain gravity.

Under the burlesque and shimmering varnish, Ozon orchestrates a real plea in favor of female emancipation.

Without being militant, the film captures the era of the times with finesse, dressing it up in the rustling undergarments of 1930s France. The cinematic exercise is well shot, controlled, as light as it is serious.

With this little touch of cunning which wins the support of the spectators.

Hats off, Mr. Ozon!

The opinion of Figaro: 3/4

Source: lefigaro

All life articles on 2023-03-07

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