Monday, 19 April 2021


French pubcaster France 3's detective drama Crimes parfaits is a "semi-anthology" where a murderer known from the start thinks he/she has committed the perfect crime but a detective (different in every couple of episodes) proves him/her wrong. 

It's the concept of the inverted detective story, popularized by Columbo though created in literature many years before the famous lieutenant. Crimes parfaits is available in the United States as Perfect Murders, thanks to SVOD service MHz Choice (1).
With five sleuths rotating in 26 52-minute episodes since 2017, Crimes parfaits is part of France 3's hugely popular regional crime drama line-up. Isabelle Gélinas (Fais pas çi, fais pas ça) returns as Agnès Bertaud, an unconventional police captain who prefers her chickens to cell phones and high tech in general. She shares her life between two sympathetic men (perfectly aware of the situation). Enough to confuse Thibaud Demazière, her uptight and by-the-book lieutenant, played by Arthur Mazet. Thomas Walch is back as Max.
In La messe est dite, special guest star Fred Testot (Sam, La Mante) plays Renaud Husson. This chemist and mayor of a small village murders Father Simonin, priest of the local church and first cousin of his wife Christine. Agnès and Thibaud walk through the beautiful southeastern village of Cucuron in a disappointing episode with some heavy dialogues. And this is the second time that Crime parfaits uses allergy in a plot. 
The "husbands" of Agnès Bertaud, Philippe and Micha, are played by Franck Adrien (Un si grand soleil) and Laurent Fernandez. Alice Chenu plays Christine Husson. Also with Marc Wilhelm (Father Simonin), Bénedicte Vidal (Mrs Berger), Paul Fructus (Monseigneur Ducatti), Najim El Atouani (Omar), Benoît Garrigos (Postman) and Leslie Pranal (Josiane).

Sara Martins (Alexandra Ehle, Death in Paradise) plays the murderer in the far better La balle est dans ton camp. Marion Garnier kills Commissaire Lambert on a golf course and disguises the crime as an accident provoked by a player. The problem is that Marion is a cop too and Thibaud finds her very charming. Max is a living encyclopedia on golf. Agnès goes to the police station (well, on the roof). It's France 3 so the landscapes are mandatorily gorgeous and societal concerns of the moment are shoehorned into the story but the murder is smart and there are moments of great fun. 
With Raphael Pellegrino (Lambert), Mathias Minne (Marciano), Benjamin Gomez (Jean-Louis Maertens), Maxime Flourac (Technician), Philippe Lévy (Manager) and Matthieu Ambid (Player). Co-produced by Éléphant Story and France Télévisions, with AT-Production, R.T.B.F. (Télévision belge) and RTS (Radio Télévision Suisse). Filmed with the participation of Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. Produced by Guillaume Renouil and Gaëlle Cholet
Executive production by Pierre Gallo for Solune Production. Thierry Bizot and Emmanuel Chain are the associate producers. Stéphane Schneider is the production manager for Élephant Story. Music and theme from Crimes parfaits composed by Jean-Pierre Taïeb. Song One Day composed by Jean-Pierre Taïeb and performed by Elia. Cinematography by Jérôme Carles. Editing by Grégoire Chevalier-Naud. Filmed in Marseille and Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur.
Both La messe est dite and La balle est dans ton camp, not yet shown  by France 3, were penned by Didier Le Pêcheur & Delphine Labouret and helmed by Philippe Bérenger.
(1) The international title of Crimes parfaits is actually Perfect Crimes but MHz Choice has a documentary series called Almost Perfect Crimes (Des crimes presque parfaits). (Château l'Arc Golf Club)
See also: 

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