It’s been fascinating to see the ripple effect of Nordic Noir across the world. What started as an apparently insignificant drop on the ocean with the early series of Wallander in Sweden soon gathered pace and arguably reached its apex with the first series of both Forbrydelsen and The Bridge from Denmark, but there have been countless other shows since across the whole of Europe bearing the imprint ever since, not least Britain’s own Broadchurch that had much evidence of the Scandi genes in its über-successful DNA.
Now the latest and possibly the most refined version of the Nordic style has reached our shores in the form of the 2014 French production Witnesses starring Marie Dompnier as Sandra Winckler, a stylish and very capable police detective and single mother who seemingly misses nothing at a crime scene compared with her more casual, loud-shirt-wearing senior partner Justin (Jan Hammenecker). However, in her private life Winckler is less composed, worried about her boyfriend possibly cheating on her and also suffering from a worsening case of debilitating obsessive compulsive disorder – although it’s a shame that this doesn’t extend to proper forensic protocols at a crime scene, as she smears her bare fingertips all over vital evidence in a way that suggests that French TV productions aren’t perhaps quite so fickle about such authentic procedural details as their UK and US counterparts tend to be. Read the rest of this entry »