The Crime Is Mine

The Crime Is Mine
The Crime Is Mine
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The Crime Is Mine is François Ozon’s latest film and it’s a riot. The movie takes place in 1930s Paris and follows two friends: Madeleine (Nadia Tereszkiewicz), a struggling actress, and Pauline (Rebecca Marder), an unsuccessful lawyer. They’re five months behind on rent for their tiny apartment, single, and unemployed. But when Madeleine rebuffs the advances of a lecherous producer only for him to turn up dead shortly after, she becomes the prime suspect. Seeing an opportunity for fame and fortune, Madeleine decides to confess to a crime she didn’t commit and milk the media circus that follows.

Ozon co-wrote the screenplay with Philippe Piazzo, which adapts a play by Georges Berr and Louis Verneuil from the ’30s. Keeping the play’s original time setting but reworking the story as they saw fit for modern audiences was a smart move — it results in a funny, fast-paced quasi-feminist tale that feels like it could be one of those screwball comedies from back then without also feeling dated.

While not strictly speaking a murder mystery, The Crime Is Mine has all the trappings of the genre but is much more interested in its central duo than bumbling detectives. The dialogue is rapid-fire and comically melodramatic — exactly what you’d hope and expect given how this movie looks. Madeleine is courted by an heir to a tire fortune; when Pauline suggests she go to him for rent money she responds “His rich father is stingy,” adding that he doesn’t have his own money because “work bores him.”

Shortly thereafter, when said gentleman caller reveals he’s decided to marry rich in order to pay off his gambling debts instead, Madeleine is hilariously despondent; she stands with her pistol at her head but snaps out of it when Pauline hands her a sandwich. Later, when Pauline asks Madeleine how she’s feeling about her life, Madeleine replies “There’s nothing like success to bring joy back.” These moments are funny in and of themselves but are taken to another level by the chemistry and timing between the actors — there’s no doubting they’re lifelong best friends.

The dialogue isn’t just perfectly pitched; so are the rest of the movie’s stylistic choices. Everything from the period costuming to the physical comedy to the reenactment scenes during the trial meshes wonderfully together, with the latter being a particular delight. Each time a new scenario is proposed for what went down, we get a melodramatic silent-film-style vignette of the suggested scene — Tereszkiewicz clearly has a blast doing these and that fun is contagious. Given how they’re silent, though, it’s especially important to note just how good all of the physical performances are here. The variety in acting and visual styles keeps your eye engaged and allows for even more playfulness from everyone involved.

When presented with Madeleine and Pauline, it’s easy to see them as being set up against each other, but that is not the case. Blonde and brunette, creative and logical, not to mention the fact that people pay more attention to Madeleine than they do Pauline; these friends are a prime recipe for an envious feud. Instead of turning on each other, however, they have each other’s backs every step of the way. The Crime Is Mine is so refreshing because it doesn’t take the easy route of setting up conflict based on jealousy or competition between women — what a concept! They do everything together!

This movie is also hella gay. We’ve got another story where one girl can’t seem to get enough of another girl who’s just trying to live her life and be normal, or whatever. Pauline (who is notably unattached to any man throughout the film) consistently gives longing looks in Madeleine’s direction from across rooms and such; most obviously when Mads gets out of the bath they were sharing. I swear if there isn’t some kind of “I’m not crying you are” meme about this scene soon… Also during the trial for murder which takes up roughly 80 %of its run-time anyway why does everyone keep bringing up this whole potential romance between them thing like what happened😂 And then Huppert comes along with her character who flirts pretty much non-stop at one point even admitting she was trying hard not fall love with Madeline(?) But nooo that wasn’t enough let’s make them flirt harder shall we?

Speaking of useless heterosexual filler content: does anyone else feel like maybe Madeleine’s boyfriend could have done literally anything besides exist? I mean seriously what was he even there for? He seemed pretty much solely comedic relief purposes which tbh don’t really need after all THAT went down… pauline never addresses specifically because made sense given everything we know about madeleines previous relationships but also somewhere between hidden/encoded overt component character arc yeah some people might have problem with this thread not being more prominent in story but I think it’s often better when you get to figure things out yourself rather than having someone just say “oh hey btw im gay lol” like okay thanks for telling me that i guess?? so yes marders wants us see love but he knows what were really here for right?

Oh and did I mention that ISABELLE HUPPERT is in this movie because if not then IM SAYING IT AGAIN!! She shows up towards end third act playing Odette Chaumette which sounds like perfect name for an actress who used be famous during silent era movies; except according madeline she never quite made transition talkies lol anyway just when you think maybe there could have been lull or something such thing happening HUPPERT comes into scene steals entire show like only can do — flamboyant fabulous feisty all kinds of f-words describing haha It’s funny how much fun everyone seems have playing these silly campy roles tho right was already huge but damnit if doesn’t make worth price admission alone

So beneath all humor style there anything else going on here? Could read into way trials are sensationalized absurd our culture true crime obsession is sure. Huge crowds show watch Madelines trial closing statement her defense attorney gives members jury women in audience instead – why because they knew would be able use their femininity manipulate public perception surrounding case so does that make them bad people or good actresses?

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