From this Monday evening, TF1 will offer “Une Affaire Française”, an anthological series which will return each season to a news item which marked the French. And for this first salvo of episodes, it is the Grégory affair that is in the spotlight.
What is it about ?
October 16, 1984. The body of Grégory Villemin, 4, is found drowned in the Vologne region. While journalists poured in from all over France, the gendarmes, led by Captain Sesmat, followed the trail of a mysterious crow who had been harassing the child’s family for years …
Une Affaire Française is broadcast from Monday, September 20 at 9:05 p.m. on TF1. Episodes seen: 5/6
Who is it with?
To stage this sordid news item, TF1 called on names well known to the general public. The Villemin couple is thus camped by Blandine Bellavoir (Love at first sight in Bangkok) and Guillaume Gouix (Les RevENTS). Guillaume de Tonquédec, seen in Fais pas ci, faire pas ça and in The First Name, slips into the shoes of gendarme Etienne Sesmat who was in charge of the investigation.
The infamous judge Lambert is played by Laurent Stocker (Goodbye idiots, Influence games) and the late Bernard Laroche is played by Michaël Abiteboul (Glittery shrimps). Michaël Youn, Thierry Godard, Gilbert Melki, Gérard Jugnot and many others are also part of this five-star cast.
On the technical team side, Alexandre Smia (Le bureau des Légendes) and Jérémie Guez (La Nuit devoré le monde, The intervention) got down to the script, while Christophe Lamotte, who previously worked on The Day I Burned My Heart and The Part of Suspicion, took care of the direction.
Well worth a look ?
The news has been on the rise for several years now and it is not the television channels and other streaming platforms that will say the opposite. And if there is one case that has fascinated the French for more than 35 years, it is that of little Grégory.
Never resolved, this sordid story full of twists and turns provides the ideal ground for a series. Netflix had already looked into the case by releasing in November 2019 a docu-series in 5 episodes, soberly titled Gregory, which had been a great success for the platform.
With Une Affaire Française, TF1 has chosen fiction here for a result that meets expectations. If we sometimes find it difficult to get rid of the Netflix documentary, the fact remains that the series tries to be as close to reality as possible. The actors almost succeed in the feat of making us forget the faces of the real protagonists of the story, as they manage to embody the characters.
Even if we know by heart all the twists and turns, the twists and turns, the testimonies and the retractions, the series manages to captivate us and to glue us in front of our screen. We know that after these 6 episodes, the story will not be finished, but we secretly hope that the writers will finally lift the veil on what really happened on October 16, 1984.
As for the actors, the performances of Guillaume Gouix and Blandine Bellavoir, who play Jean-Marie and Christine Villemin, are remarkable. In their looks, in the feelings they have for each other, we recognize the strong bond uniting this couple, who went through the worst ordeal that parents can one day know and who despite everything managed to get away with it. go out. They are both touching, and, watching them evolve in the series, we almost forget that we are not really in the privacy of Christine and Jean-Marie.
But Une Affaire Française remains a fiction, as the character of Jeanne Lombardie, played by Laurence Arné, reminds us so well. Presented as a journalist sent from Paris to cover the affair, she was created from scratch to bring a feminine perspective to a predominantly male-dominated story, thus highlighting the prevailing misogyny of the time, which resulted in the arrest of Christine Villemin. If this point of view has a certain interest, we would have gladly done without his love affair with another reporter who brings absolutely nothing to an already very rich intrigue.