Contemporary French satire set in the 1930s.

My crime ★★★½
COMEDY (2023)
Directed by Francois Ozon
InterpretationsCast: Nadia Tereskevich, Rebecca Marder, Isabelle Heper

“I kept the historical and political context of the 1930s, but adapted the story to keep up with contemporary issues of power and gender politics.”

Sometimes provocative or downright heretical, sometimes slightly smug, François Ozon remains one of the most interesting contemporary French directors. This time he takes us back in time and in particular to the 1930s for a crime comedy rich in contemporary references. Beautiful young actress Madeleine (Nadya Tereskevich) is accused of murdering an influential film producer. She claims to have acted in self-defense, and with the help of her friend and (unemployed) lawyer Pauline (Rebecca Marder), she manages to not only be acquitted, but become a heroine, starting her career. All this until a mysterious woman (Isabelle Huppert) appears out of nowhere and the real facts come to light. Ozon speaks in his own way about the centuries-old prejudices and injustices of the patriarchal society towards women, without, however, following the generally accepted path of meaningless preaching. On the contrary, his approach is full of ambiguities and scenario games, the purpose of which is to explore the gray area between extreme – mostly modern – reactions. No less important for him seems to be the definition of a generally immoral age, when Justice is corrupted to the point of absurdity and ephemeral idols rule, as it is today. “I kept the historical and political context of the 1930s, but adapted the story to keep up with contemporary issues of power and gender politics. I also played with the parallel between the theater and the judiciary,” notes the French director himself. However, the tools he uses here to achieve his goals are mainly, as we said, comedic: fast-paced dialogues, paradoxes, caricature characters permeate the entire film, which mostly flows smoothly, although at some points it can be confusing to a less attentive viewer. . Finally, special mention should be made of interpretations. The budding Tereskevich and Marder excel at playing two strong yet graceful female characters. At the same time, the depth of the cast also does a good job, with seasoned comedians Fabrice Luchini and Danny Boone alongside the charming Isabelle Huppert.

Author: Emilios Harbis

Source: Kathimerini

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