Wednesday, 13 January 2021


Following the success of a mystery/comedy TV movie aired on pubcaster France 2 in 2019, Le crime lui va si bien returned this month as a series for two feature-length episodes: Un caveau pour deux (January 8th) and Esprit es-tu là? (January 15th).
The bottom line: Le crime lui va toujours si bien. 
Based on an idea by producer/writer Jean-Pierre Alessandri, Le crime lui va si bien was created by Olga Vincent (Envers et contre tous, Disparus) and crime drama expert Stéphane Kaminka (Au-delà des apparences, Malaterra). Both wrote the original TV film, helmed by Stéphane Kappes (La stagiaire, Tropiques criminels). It stars Claudia Tagbo as Gaby Molina, an intuitive and tenacious police captain who sells truffles and rents guest rooms to keep the farm inherited from her grandparents.
Although Claudia Tagbo is best known for stand-up comedy and her participation to TF1's entertainment programme Vendredi tout est permis, this versatile Franco-Ivorian actress and humorist is no stranger to crime fiction. She played Lieutenant Martine Forest in RIS police scientifique (2006-2014), the French adaptation of RIS: Delitti imperfetti (2005-2009). The excellent Hélène Seuzaret (Le pont des oubliés, Das Boot) co-stars as Lieutenant Céline Richer, the by-the-book partner and tenant of Captain Molina. 
Bruno Lochet, great as always, plays Gaby's informer Anton Vargas. Laurent Manzoni is very good as Commissaire Félix Fontan, the depressive boss of the duo. Julien Ratel is irresistible as Darget, the lunar police officer. The TV movie won the Grand Prix of the French-speaking TV movie 2019 at the Cognac Polar Festival and caught 4.32m viewers (20.6%) on France 2 in December 2019 (1). Directed by Stéphane Kappes, the sparkling Un caveau pour deux was penned by Olga Vincent with novelist and scriptwriter Mikaël Ollivier (Three Blind Mice).

Captain Gaby Molina joins Anton Vargas at the funeral of his friend Maxime Morizot, a tree surgeon who committed suicide, when the mortician finds another body in the family vault. It's that of Pauline Duteuil, a young woman who worked for the aristocratic d'Abricourt family. The investigation is complicated by the suspension of Gaby's driver license and the hostility of Aymeric d'Abricourt. Brigitte, Céline's mother, arrives at the farm with a young man named Xavier. Fontan worries about the visit of the préfet to the police station and he's submerged by his marital problems (as usual).

In the very pleasant movie, Claudia Tagbo was a Columbo of the French countryside with a cap, a scarf and an old Volvo. Un caveau pour deux is closer to the Agatha Raisin TV series and some comedies of Claude Zidi. The talented Brigitte Aubry plays Brigitte. The gendarme is played by Julien Barbier. Also with Gabrielle Atger (Irène d'Abricourt), Philippe Dusseau (Aymeric d'Abricourt), Adrien Velimirovic (Guillaume d'Abricourt), Sébastien Boissavit (Driving instructor), Yasmin Bau (Xavier), Jean Mourière (Préfet), Marie-Pierre Bellefleur (Pauline), André Penvern (The count), etc.
Produced by Kam&Ka, Ramona Productions and France Télévisions. Co-produced by Be-Films and RTBF (Télévision belge) with the participation of RTS Radio Télévision suisse and TV5 Monde. Filmed with the support of Région Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Pôle Image Magelis and Département de la Charente. Produced by Samuel Kaminka & Stéphane Kaminka, Olga Vincent & Jean-Pierre Alessandri. Music by Xavier Berthelot (Joséphine, ange gardien) and Stéphane Rault. Cinematography by Stéphane Cami. Editing by Bénédicte Gellé. Olivier Perrault is the director of the fabulous title sequence.
(1) Inpressively, a repeat on January 1, 2021 caught 4.43m viewers (19.2%).
See also:

Tuesday, 5 January 2021


Thank you for your interest, your fidelity and your trust during these particularly strange times.


- Borderland (Über die Grenze) - Episodes 1 & 2 (Das Erste):

German feature-length crime drama co-starring the multi-talented Philippe Caroit.

- Falk- Season 1 (Das Erste):

A warm-hearted German dramedy set in Düsseldorf.

- Perfect Murders (Crimes parfaits) - Commandant Claire Moreno: Master du crime/Un coeur sombre (France 3):

- Perfect Murders (Crimes parfaits) - Commissaire divisionnaire Damien Roche: Légitime défiance/Une étoile est morte (France 3):

- Magellan (Commissaire Magellan) - Sang d'encre (France 3):

Tuesday, 15 December 2020


Set at the border between Germany and France, Über die Grenze is one of the feature-length crime dramas filmed abroad for the Donnerstags-Krimi line-up of German pubcaster Das Erste (like Amsterdam Undercover, Der Zurich-Krimi or Kommissar Dupin).

Alles auf eine Karte and Gesetzlos, the uneven but surprisingly effective first couple of episodes, were shot during summer 2016 and shown by the channel in December 2017. In February 2020, Das Erste aired two more episodes (Rachenengel and Rausch der Sterne) made in 2019. Über die Grenze is now available in the U.S. as Borderland, thanks to SVOD service MHZ Choice.

Steffen Herold, the head of operations of the German–French Centre for Police and Customs, introduces his team to their newest colleague: his daughter Leni, a rookie officer. A thoroughly prepared intervention goes wrong when one of the inspectors is severely wounded and two armed robbers, Dane Marquardt and Milou Jangi, take Leni Herold hostage to flee with her in France. Ségolène Combass and Yves Kléber, of the Police nationale, arrive to assess the situation. Combass is hostile towards Herold but Steffen and Yves are old acquaintances. Leni must cope with the unpredictability of her captors.
Created by Felice Götze, Über die Grenze is produced by Polyphon Pictures GmbH for ARD Degeto and SWR (for Das Erste). Thomas Sarbacher (Der Bozen Krimi, Der Elefant - Mord verjährt nie) heads the cast as Steffen Herold. Anke Retzlaff (Puppe) plays Leni Herold. Yves Kléber is played by French actor Philippe Caroit (R.I.S. Police scientifique, Les boeuf-carottes), who speaks German but also Italian, English and Spanish. Since 2017, he's one of the five detectives of the hit semi-anthology Perfect Murders (Crimes parfaits) on France 3. Swiss-Canadian actress Noémie Kocher plays Ségolène Combass.
Based on an idea from Ulrich Zaum and written by Felice Götze and Sabine Radebold, Alles auf eine Karte starts like a typical German crime fighting special unit drama. Except that there are French characters, hence some very Panthère rose dialogues and Joe le taxi by Vanessa Paradis on the radio. Travellers get their share of clichés too but after 30 minutes of "SOKO Kehl" this premiere becomes unexpectedly gritty as the tension grows until a rather brutal conclusion. Also with Sebastian Hülk (Danne Marquardt), Rick Okon (Milou Jangy), Bernhard Piesk (Tino Loher), Jenny Schily (Sabine Herold), etc. Directed by Michael Rowitz, who helmed both episodes.
Penned by Felice Götze, Paul J. Milbers (Die Rosenheim-Cops) and Sabine Radebold with Michael Rowitz, Gesetzlos takes place three weeks after Alles auf eine Karte. Leni Herold tries to recover from what happened to her. Meanwhile, the son of a russian mobster is shot dead by an unknown gunman during a drug deal in the port of Strasbourg. His father, who crossed path with Steffen Herold and Yves Kléber in the past, wants revenge at all costs. Thomas Sarbacher, Anke Retzlaff and Philippe Caroit deliver top-notch performances in this faultless thriller.
With the excellent Johannes Krisch as Russian mafia boss Jegor Sobolew, Christian Kuchenbuch (Deacon Junkers), Artjom Gilz (Petja Kremer), Jenny Schily (Sabine), Bernhard Piesk (Tino Loher), Sebastian Hülk (Marquardt), etc. Produced by Sabine Tettenborn (Der Lissabon-Krimi). Katja Roesch (Alles auf eine Karte) and Jorg Kühlmann (Gesetzlos) are the production managers. Hartwig König is the line producer (Alles auf eine Karte). Kirsten Frehse is the line producer for ARD Degeto. Music by Helmut Zerlett (Der Clown). Cinematography by Stefan Unterberger. Editing by Achim Seidel (Alles auf eine Karte) and Andreas Althoff (Gesetzlos).
The multi-talented Philippe Caroit is also a musician and he has recently published his first novel, La malédiction de l'escargot (Anne Carrière Éditions).

See also: