Wednesday, 22 November 2017


[Spoiler-free] It's summer holidays and Alice Avril (Blandine Bellavoir) enrolls in the Macha Semenoff acting class. Her teacher, Herbert Michel, happens to be a lookalike of Commissaire Swan Laurence (Samuel Labarthe).

When one of the students is murdered, Avril becomes the main suspect. Marlène Leroy (Élodie Frenck) and Herbert fall in love and decide to marry.

« Il a une tête d'assassin.
-  Mais c'est la vôtre de tête, Laurence... En plus jeune. »

Written by Sylvie Simon, Drame en trois actes is adapted from Agatha Christie's novel Three Act Tragedy. It's the second of the two episodes of the French hit series Les petits meurtres d'Agatha Christie directed by Nicolas Picard-Dreyfuss (Candice Renoir, Nicolas Le Floch) between May and July 2017. Swiss TV channel RTS Un aired it yesterday ahead of French pubcaster France 2. Someone wants to drive the heavy drinking Macha Semenoff (Dominique Reymond) insane. Laurence is annoyed because everybody thinks that Herbert Michel is his doppelgänger. Swan's irritation is getting worse when Marlène, his charming secretary, resigns and is replaced by the very different Arlette Carmouille (Marie Berto). Tricard (Dominique Thomas) arrests Alice Avril, who's jailed in pajamas.

« Il ne souffre plus. Un café? »

Pathologist Timothée Glissant (Cyril Gueï) and the commissaire plot to prevent Herbert and Marlène's wedding. Drame en trois actes is a patchy episode with a rather unsatisfactory ending but some good moments, a handful of nice lines, and great performances by Samuel Labarthe (as both Laurence and Herbert) and guest star Nicolas Marié (Les hommes de l'ombre) as Macha's gay patron. The cast, excellent as always, also includes Tristan Robin (Grégoire), Alexandre Philip (Vestiaires, Lazy Company) as Léon Verneuil, Samira Mameche (an actress who deserves attention) as Monique, Alban Casterman (Al Dorsey, next month on France Ô), etc. Éric Beauchamp plays Agent Martin. Co-produced by Escazal Films and France Télévisions, with the support of Pictanovo and Région Hauts-de-France.

« Vous n'avez pas de coeur.
-  Uniquement quand j'ai le temps. »

Produced with the participation of TV5 Monde and RTS Radio Télévision Suisse. Sophie Révil is the producer. Laurent Chiomento exec produces. Main characters created by Sylvie Simon and Thierry Debroux. Music composed by Stéphane Moucha. Bertrand Mouly is the cinematographer. Production designed by Moundji Couture. Costumes by Sophie Dussaud. Main title sequence designed by Romain Segaud. Titles by Bruno Dianesco and Romain Provenzano. The end credits are accompanied by behind-the-scenes images. The next brand new episode aired by France 2 will be Le crime de Noël, a Christmas special. Drame en trois actes will surface in France on a later date. Agatha Christie's Criminal Games is available in the U.S. on VOD service MHZ Choice.

« Ca n'existe pas les vaches roses. »

(Amandine Attard contributed to this review)

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