After “For the honor of a son”, Stéphane Bern is back on France 3 with “Bellefond”, a new police television film in which he plays a prosecutor and law professor who, as in “Murder”, will ally with his students to carry out the investigation.
What is it about ?
Antoine Bellefond, prosecutor, does not spare the criminals who cross his path. Until one of them, innocent, commits suicide in full court. Shocked, Bellefond decides to put his career on hold… But his niece, whom he hasn’t seen for years, calls him for help: his father, Antoine’s brother-in-law, has been arrested for murder and refuses to defend herself despite being convinced of his innocence.
Bellefond, also a professor of criminal law, returns to his native village, accompanied by three of his best students to elucidate this mystery, reconnect with his past and reconcile with his family.
Tuesday October 18 at 9:10 p.m. on France 3
Who is it with?
After Murders in Lorrainea season 4 episode of The Art of Crimeand more recently For the honor of a sonwhich made the buzz and much amused internet users, Stephane Bern is back as a comedian with Bellefonda new police unit of which he is the star.
Alongside the host turned actor who plays the prosecutor Antoine Bellefond, viewers of France 3 will find Anne Caillon (tomorrow belongs to us) in the role of Commander Audrey Passereau, cop in charge of the investigation and former acquaintance of the hero.
Wheras’Alexandra Vandernoot (Here it all starts), Arnaud Binard (The Last Wave), Melanie Robert (Such a Great Sun), and Jean Marie Winling (Nicholas le Floch, Balthazar) play Bellefond’s sister, brother-in-law, niece, and father, respectively.
A very nice cast that is completed by three talented young actors who we find in the shoes of the prosecutor’s students, who will lend him a hand: Wendy Nieto (They were 10, The code), Oscar Bertha (I lied), and Julia Oberlinkels (Vortex).
Well worth a look ?
On paper, Bellefond, thought of as a pilot destined to become a series if successful, would almost look like a Murder (the ABC drama carried by Viola Davis), with his law professor who surrounds himself with his best students to carry out the investigation. But, obviously, the result is quite far from the adventures of Annalize Keating. And is closer to the low-ambition police dramas that France 3 broadcasts all year round.
After the first sequences, which focus on the drama that prompted Antoine Bellefond, formerly a renowned prosecutor, to put his career on hold and focus on his job as a teacher of criminal law at university, the TV movieEmily and Sarah Barbault deploys an intrigue all that is more classic, which struggles to really fascinate us. Even if the investigation touches the hero closely since it is his brother-in-law that he is responsible for exonerating.
However, with its sunny Drôme landscapes, its family tensions, and its secrets against a backdrop of thwarted love stories, Bellefond should easily satisfy fans of the successful “Meurtres à…” collection. Especially since this pilot is similar to a rather very high-end opus, as it features a cast of choice.
Well known to the general public, Alexandra Vandernoot, Anne Caillon, Jean-Marie Winling, Arnaud Binard, Mélanie Robert, or even Juliette Plumecocq-Mech (Peur sur le lac) as a loudmouth bar manager are all in tune and come out with the honors. And we regret that Anne Caillon, who signs her return to the screen eight months after her departure from Tomorrow belongs to us, does not have more scenes in the role of this ex from Bellefond whom he finds by handing over the feet in his native village.
Camille, Kevin, and Farima, the three “trainees” of the hero, are impeccably embodied by Wendy Nieto, Oscar Berthe, and Julia Oberlinkels, who stand out as talents to follow closely. And their trio of law students – the first wants to become a lawyer, the second magistrate, and the last cop – is certainly the only real good idea of the scenario, which offers a little humor and surprise to the whole.
Because if we rather like the clash of cultures that arises from the scenes where the sober and rigid side of the prosecutor rubs shoulders with the relaxation, the youth and the lightness of his trainees, these are indeed the only sequences where Stéphane Bern come out pretty well.
Yet a little more credible as a prosecutor and investigator than as a former fighter pilot in his previous TV movie, the host of Secrets of History is sorely lacking in naturalness when he recites his lines. Like the introductory sequence of the TV movie, which sees him launch into a simply ridiculous plea in the middle of court that comes close to the best moments of Jean-Luc Reichmann in Leo Mattei.
And we don’t even talk about the flashes and other “tricks” of realization which are supposed to translate the wound which haunts Antoine, who does not recover from the miscarriage of justice he committed and which cost the life of an innocent man. A masterclass in the art of accuracy and finesse, really.
In short, if Bellefond has nothing to be ashamed of in itself and will certainly find its audience, this detective series pilot should above all delight the detractors of Stéphane Bern, who will surely find something to amuse themselves after the famous scene of the attack on the drone in For the Honor of a Son. And remember that acting is a profession and that the friend of crowned heads is much better when he dusts off history and comments on princely weddings.