It was the steely smile of Carole Bouquet that first caught my attention in this French-made thriller and having made it through the first episode (on Netflix) I committed to watching the entire series. Mme. Bouquet plays the mother of all serial killers and when it appears as if a copycat is recreating her crimes she offers to help the police catch the killer – on one condition. She wants her estranged son, now a cop (and expertly played by Fred Testot) to help her with the case.
I had previously seen Mme. Bouquet as a Bond girl in 1981’s For Your Eyes Only and Luis Bunuel’s That Obscure Object of Desire. From Bond to Bunuel! What a range! In fact, it is Mme. Bouquet’s enigmatic reading of her character that held my interest through a teleplay that relies a tad too much on coincidence for its twists and turns.
The series has been labelled “transphobic” by several commenters on the Netflix site. Having no previous personal experience with members of the trans community and unaware of whether they have the same PC police in France as they have in North America I cannot speak to this. I gotta say, however, that I never believed the young French actress playing a transsexual.)
With Netflix picking up some well-produced international TV series it is only a matter of time before one of these performers achieves international fame in an American film or TV series. That didn’t work out so well for French superstars like Catherine Deneuve, Gerard Depardieu or Anne Parillaud (the original Femme Nikita) but it might work out for Manon Azem (one of the eye-catching stars of La Mante). She’s my pick to click, anyway.