Wednesday, 10 January 2018


[Favourite of the Month]  [Spoiler-free review] The body of a young woman is found in the swimming pool of a luxury hotel in Saint-Paul de Vence. The local gendarmerie investigates but Captain Marie Jourdan, a police detective, abruptly invites herself on the case for a personal reason.

The bottom line: Mimie Mathy is "the new sheriff in town". And that's good.

Written by crime drama expert scriptwriter Laurent Mondy (Commissaire Magellan, Les Cordier, juge et flic) and directed by Emmanuel Rigaut, Le prix de la vérité (1) is a TV movie (and possible backdoor pilot?) which will air on French pubcaster France 3 this saturday. Comedian and actress Mimie Mathy, who usually stars in the long-running TF1 hit Joséphine, ange gardien, plays  Marie Jourdan, a tenacious and quick-witted police captain with a difference (2).

« Apparemment vous n'avez pas tous les formats chez les gendarmes. Chez nous ça va du small au double XL, ça vous pose un problème? »

Célia Moreau is found dead in the swimming pool of the Lion d'Or, a magnificent luxury hotel in Saint-Paul de Vence. Commandant Luc Langevin (Charles Clément) and Capitaine Paul Danceny (Mathieu Delarive), of the gendarmerie, believe it was an accident. Daniel Caron (Philippe Caroit), the obnoxious owner of the place, is anxious to open the hotel photo exhibition of a lucrative artist called Janus. But Capitaine Marie Jourdan, from the Lyon Police judiciaire, claims that the case is hers. Soon she proves to Dr. Yasmine Labri (Selma Kouchy), the pathologist, that Célia was murdered.

« Je suppose que vous avez vos petites habitudes avec votre ami Langevin. Mais, voyez-vous, je m'en fous complètement. »

Commandant Langevin, whose wife was saved by Caron when the latter was a doctor, and Capitaine Danceny reluctantly accept the presence of Jourdan on the investigation. Daniel Caron becomes Marie's main suspect and the alibi of a person of interest is Paul Danceny's daughter Chloé (Louna Espinosa). The victim worked in a stud farm belonging to Virgile Caron (Pierre-Yves Bon), the unbearable son of Daniel, who harasses his female employees. Captain Jourdan happens to have a very personal motive to find the murderer of Célia Moreau. A sedated young man in a clinic could be the key of this mystery.

« Je dois en référer au commandant Langevin, c'est mon supérieur direct
-  Pour pisser aussi vous êtes obligé de lui demander l'autorisation? »

Past an omnipresent music, the inevitable and very "office du tourisme" aerial shots, and a few cliches (Chloé and the "bad boy"), Le prix de la vérité is well crafted and there's a welcome plot twist. It looks that Mimie Mathy enjoyed this opportunity to get away from her guardian angel character with a more dramatic role. Philippe Caroit (R.I.S. Police Scientifique) played twice alongside Mimie Mathy in Joséphine, ange gardien. They seem to have fun with this on-screen reunion and the dialogues between Marie and the odious Daniel Caron (« Je vais vous écraser comme une merde. Ca va me porter chance. »)

« Vous pensez que je l'ai tué? Oh, c'est petit ça... Oh pardon
-  Je vous en prie. Vous savez ce qu'on dit. Plus c'est grand plus c'est... »

Charles Clément, Pierre-Yves Bon and Michel Biel (Demain nous appartient), who plays Jordan Guichard, appeared in episodes of the TF1 series too. Selma Kouchy is a regular of France 3's Commissaire Magellan. Fans of the channel's crime dramas will certainly want more of this new detective. Captain Marie Jourdan, and the gendarmes Danceny and Langevin  would definitely be a pleasant addition to France 3's  popular crime/mystery line-up. Also starring Cécile Pallas (Jeanne de Courcy), Catherine Zavlav (Laurence Meurisse), Vanessa Liautey (Juliette Larcher), Murielle Huet des Aunay (Clarisse), Rébecca Finet (Nicole) and Sophie Payan as Célia Moreau.

« Vous m'avez fait peur
-  T'inquiète, j'ai l'habitude. »

Produced by Episode Productions (JLA Groupe) with France Télévisions. Co-produced by Be-Films and RTBF (Télévision belge). With the participation of RTS Radio Télévision Suisse, TV5Monde and 13ème Rue (NBC Universal) Music by Fabien Nataf (with Alain Mouysset). Produced by Richard Berkowitz. Bernard Paccalet exec produces. Anne Leduc is the associate producer for RTBF. Olivier Garguir is the cinematographer. Filmed with the support of the Département des Alpes Maritimes. RTBF's La Une and Swiss channel RTS Un aired Le prix de la vérité ahead of French television.

(1) Formerly Liens de sang.
(2) Mimie Mathy is 4 ft 4 tall (1.32 m).

(Amandine Attard contributed to this review) 

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