The Crime Is Mine Review: The Art of a Sympathetic Heroine

The Crime is Mine

I first watched The Crime is Mine at the 2023 Chicago International Film Festival. Now with the film receiving a wider release through video on demand, I want to discuss my admiration for this brilliant crime comedy.

The vibrant French film makes a mockery of murder and courtroom dramas, in the best way. An innocent woman takes the stand for a murder.

However, don’t feel too bad for the mademoiselle because it’s the best press of her life. She claims the crime for the pursuit of fame, and to give the performance of a lifetime. The Crime is Mine’s wacky premise excels because of its perspective and depth.

The Crime is Mine
Nadia Tereszkiewicz in The Crime is Mine (c) Music Box Films

It remains lighthearted, and silly despite tackling topics such as sexual assault and murder.

As a struggling actress, the case becomes Madeleine’s audition to the world. It also becomes her roommate and best friend Pauline’s chance to prove herself as Madeleine’s defense counsel. The women must convince the courtroom and France that Madeleine committed the crime as an act of self-defense.

Madeleine receives the praise she rightfully deserves because boy does she perform.

Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Rebecca Marder thrive in The Crime is Mine. Both give charismatic performances as capable and clever women who have some slight naïveties, or at least inexperience in the art of manipulation.

However, they learn that skill quickly.

The Crime is Mine
Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Rebecca Marder in The Crime is Mine (c) Music Box Films

Tereszkiewicz gives an especially captivating performance. She plays the starlet in the making so well. She knows how to tear up when necessary, smile to dazzle the audience, and use innocent looks to play the courtroom.

Madeleine and Tereszkiewicz are both masterful in how they play to their audience.

Film legend Isabelle Huppert acts as the wiser, more experienced conniving Odette. She expertly manipulates and grabs a great opportunity when it presents itself. Her entrance comes towards the back half of The Crime is Mine.

But, it’s memorable and eye-catching that her presence feels grand and engulfing. She uses her limited screen time well.

Th Crime is Mine
Nadia Tereszkiewicz in The Crime is Mine (c) Music Box Films

The absurdity of Madeleine, Pauline, and Odette’s story grips you. They entice you to strap in for the ride and see if they truly can have it all. The film refuses to take itself seriously, and in doing so, it creates a multilayered movie about sexism, Hollywood in the 1930s, and the art of courtroom films (among other topics).

Anatomy of a Fall and The Crime is Mine reminds us that a great performance is the best defense. If you can garner sympathy, you can usually get away with murder, allegedly.

The Crime is Mine, in many ways, acts as a way to praise the essence of films of the 1930s. That’s one of the movie’s biggest strengths. Its sometimes subtle and not-so-subtle nods to the movies of that era.

It’s a love letter and a letter of criticism.

The Crime is Mine
Nadia Tereszkiewicz and Rebecca Marder in The Crime is Mine (c) Music Box Films

The film capitalizes on the drug that is nostalgia. It makes you yearn for the film era while also offering critiques, such as the slimy murdered producer. Many women of the era (even of today’s era) probably had to fight off men like him to try to make it in Hollywood.

Therefore, you can’t help but cheer for his demise and want Madeleine to get away with it, even if she didn’t actually do it.

The Crime is Mine shows the depth some go for fame and glory. It’s brilliantly satirical, gorgeous, and very funny.

The Crime is Mine is available to buy or rent on Amazon and other Video On Demand services.

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