Murder in Provence Review

I’m watching a new series on Britbox, Murder in Provence, three episodes released so far, which is well-written, well-acted, gorgeously shot in a beautiful setting, and I’m generally enjoying it a lot….

…however. They are using British actors who speak English throughout. It’s just very confusing. There seem to be no actual French people speaking French? Little French words are scattered through on occasion, as if to give the feel of it, like ‘maman,’ but mostly, it’s all English.

You could almost imagine the whole series was about a group of English expatriates, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case, since the main characters interact with tons of locals, and there’s no indication that you’re supposed to think they’re expatriates.

I think it’s just meant to be a convention we ignore. I.e., ‘We could have done it in French with French actors, which would’ve made sense, but we wanted to use this guy as our lead [and he’s great, I agree], and we figured you didn’t want to read subtitles anyway, so just pretend all the English is French, okay? Okay.”

5 thoughts on “Murder in Provence Review”

  1. Yes, it’s really rather odd and funny the choices. I was amused by the Italian in episode 1 who started his conversation in Italian, switched to English for the plot relevant convo before code switching back to Italian for the end of the conversation.

    Personally I would have been quite content to listen to all the dialogue en Francais, with subtitles for those who need it. They could still have used the largely English cast provided that they all speak French passably, or just cast French actors where appropriate.

    All that notwithstanding quite a fun series to watch, nice little mysteries though a bit easy and predictable.

    Have you watched Magpie Murders, also a Britbox original? That was outstanding in my opinion.

  2. I was very surprised to watch a murder mystery with a Provence backdrop and French characters with British accents. So far, it’s been interesting and we definitely levitated when a character was run over. But it would have been more authentic with French accents and/or actors with subtitles as needed.

  3. I did appreciate the dialogue and the witticisms between the two lead characters. And the lack of gore and car chases. Murder with intelligence ! And for those complaining about French characters in France speaking in English with commensurate accents.

    Did you also complain about Kenneth Branagh re-making “Wallander”, in Sweden. But speaking in English ?

    Perhaps the cast and crew just wanted some time away in Provence and its sunshine ?

    And what about Michael Gambon playing “Maigret” and all the other English-speakers-

    1. With refernce to Maigret, the 1960’s version currently being shown TPTV has French flavour and atmosphere due to the excellent pronunciation of French names and places. The location shots are interspersed with studio sessions but the more distinctively french street scenes, etc help the viewer to feel this is a story set in France.

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