Thursday, 26 December 2019

Thursday, 19 December 2019

LE CRIME LUI VA SI BIEN (FRANCE 2)

[Favourite of the Month] Claudia Tagbo shines as the new sleuth of France Télévisions (the biggest police station of the French TV industry).

The bottom line: The title says it all.

Le crime lui va si bien (formerly Intime conviction) is a TV movie for pubcaster France 2 which stars Claudia Tagbo in the role of Police captain Gaby Molina. Although the versatile Franco-Ivorian actress and humorist is best known for stand-up comedy and her participation to TF1's entertainment programme Vendredi tout est permis, she's 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).

English expat Harry Fergusson, a famous author, is murdered and his death is made to look like a car accident. Capitaine Gaby Molina, her neighbour, quickly suspects foul play because of a detail. Jean Servais, her counterpart in the gendarmerie, already investigates and won't collaborate. Gaby is supposed to be busy with a ketamine trafficking case and the arrival of Lieutenant Céline Richer, her new partner. On a personal level, she moonlights as a security guard in a nightclub and sells truffles in order to keep her farm (inherited from her grandfather).

Harry just finished writing a book, whose manuscript is nowhere to be found. Molina meets Fergusson's friend, a surgeon named Édouard Perret. Céline arrests Anton Vargas, Gaby's informer. Written by crime drama expert Stéphane Kaminka (Malaterra, RIS police scientifique, Alice Nevers, etc...) and Olga Vincent (Envers et contre tous, Disparus), Le crime lui va si bien is based on an idea by producer/writer Jean-Pierre Alessandri. Stéphane Kappes, its director, is a regular helmer of France 3's hit La stagiaire and he directed four episodes of the recent Tropiques criminels for France 2.

Le crime lui va si bien will not revolutionise the genre but its 90 minutes are very pleasant. Claudia Tagbo is fabulous as a Columbo of the French countryside with a cap, a scarf and an old Volvo. The lieutenant is a major influence of France 3's ratings juggernaut Capitaine Marleau and Crimes parfaits, another success of the channel. Céline Richer is played by the excellent Hélène Seuzaret (Le pont des oubliés, Das Boot). The always great Bruno Lochet plays Anton Vargas (a tribute to Fred Vargas?)

Also with Stéphane Freiss (Noces rouges, Le secret d'Élise) as Édouard Perret, Julien Ratel (Darget), Guillaume Denaiffe (Simon Landrau), Laurent Manzoni (Gaby's boss Félix Fontan), Norbert Ferrer (Jean Servais), Kévin Rouxel (Mickael), Virgil Leclaire (Dylan Poirier), Benjamin Gomez (Guillaume, the banker), Florence Maury (Odile Griffon), Jean-François Maurier (Mr Poirier), Peter Vickers (Harry Fergusson), Franck Molinaro (Procureur Mazzolini), Ségolène Prunier (Nurse), Olivia Brunaux (Dr Vendroux), etc.

Produced by Ramona Productions and Kam & Ka with France Télévisions. Co-produced by Be-Films and RTBF (Télévision belge) with the participation of RTS (Télévision suisse) and TV5 Monde. Filmed with the support of Région Île-de-France. Produced by Jean-Pierre Alessandri, Olga Vincent, Samuel Kaminka and Stéphane Kaminka. Music by Xavier Berthelot (Joséphine, ange gardien). Cinematography by Stéphane Cami. Editing by Bénédicte Gellé.

Le crime lui va si bien won the Grand Prix of the French-speaking TV movie 2019 at the Cognac Polar Festival. It will premiere this Friday on France 2 and hopefully a series will follow. Claudia Tagbo currently plays Oda Mae Brown in the musical adaptation of the movie Ghost on stage at the Théâtre Mogador.