Paris, 1935. A small drawn curtain rises. A swimming pool reflects the mansion from which the young protagonist will emerge, hurried, nervous. He will tell her friend and partner in debt that she fled from a savage stalker. Soon a police officer falls: the owner of the mansion appears dead and she is the main suspect. For the judge, there are no doubts. The sentence will depend on the motive for the crime. What will the accused say? Here the mess begins, because she is an actress, the other is a lawyer, the men are manageable, they can climb positions depending on how they do in the trial, and this is a comedy.
Suddenly the real murderer appears, to get a piece of the party through blackmail. There’s more: the suspect has a jerk boyfriend, the son of a businessman on a tightrope. And even more: there are brilliant dialogues, one after the other, well-placed phrases about Justice, simulation, the situation of the woman, her right to kill the abuser and also the annoying husband, a game of double standards that is happily immoral but fun , two young actresses on the rise (Nadia Tereskiewicz and Rebecca Marder) supported by first-rate figures (Fabrice Luchini, the clumsy judge, Isabelle Huppert, the blackmailer, Dany Boon, a sympathetic guy, André Dussolier, the future father-in-law, Michel Fau, the prosecutor, who makes a very funny speech explaining why declaring the girl innocent would be a very bad example), there is a tone of farce very well carried out, and, at the head, a director who knows the ropes, knows how to lead the baton and He fills the audience with joy every time he does a comedy: François Ozon.
Hers are “Ocho mujeres” and “Potiche”, which here was called “Mujeres al poder”. Like these films, “That Crime is Mine” jokes about the famous war of the sexes, makes performers and technicians shine and rescues a precious work of French popular theater. For that matter, “Mon crime”, by Berr and Verneuil, 1934, where a lawyer tries to save his wife, a chronic liar, and someone is going to blackmail them. In 1937, the now forgotten Wesley Ruggles took it to the cinema as “True confession”, with Carole Lombard and Fred MacMurray (in Portugal they retitled it “Sao assim as mulheres”, great). The version that Ozon now offers scores points by converting the marriage into two girls who live together, with the suspicions of the case, and adding phrases by Louis Jouvet and tributes to a star of other times, Danielle Darrieux, from whom the sweet songs can be heard ” Le bonheur, c’est un rien” and “Sans un mot”. To close, and after a mocking and unexpected epilogue, instead of lowering the curtain, joyous headlines appear indicating the foreseeable destiny of each character. A detail for connoisseurs: the movie that the girls are going to see one night, “Mauvaise grain”, is the first film by the maestro Billy Wilder. That model of lightness, precision and irony is what Ozon takes in this comedy.
I am an author and journalist who has worked in the entertainment industry for over a decade. I currently work as a news editor at a major news website, and my focus is on covering the latest trends in entertainment. I also write occasional pieces for other outlets, and have authored two books about the entertainment industry.