Are we watching or not? Black Trace (France 2)

Are we watching or not? Black Trace (France 2)

New series on France 2 with a more unusual setting but just as high stakes: Piste Noire with Constance Labbé and Thibault de Montalembert.

What is Piste Noire? ? The Alps, majestic, the immaculate snow. A skier races down the slopes, defying gravity and flirting with his limits. He falls into the white expanse. At the Isba, the most beautiful hotel in the Clairies ski area, we celebrate the victory of Boris, the downhill champion, darling of the country. At the foot of the station, in a makeshift camp, a caravan burns and engulfs a badly housed seasonal worker in its flames. Emilie, a young gendarmerie from the SR of Lyon, will lead the investigation behind the scenes of a ski resort where she spent her youth.

© Nicolas ROBIN – Macondo – FTV

The essential

Set against the majestic backdrop of the Alps trapped in snow, this new series of 6 x 52 minutes comes direct from Charline de Lépine (producer of shadowmen), directed by Fred Grivois (trauma) and of course written by Jennifer Have, Anne Peyrègne, Robin Barataud, Pierre Delorme, Monica Rattazi, Sylvain Saada. A good distribution of authors, but without names to “supervise” the whole, difficult to identify a style in writing, it’s then that of the director that seems to emerge more, we’ll come back to that. Powered by a great cast, black barrel is an opportunity to see Constance Labbé wear a series and we can only see that she has no problem asserting herself and her other playing partners Thibault de Montalembert, Hélène Seuzaret, Pierre-Yves Good, Déborah Krey, Christiane Millet and Christian Rauth , Solène Rigot, Dimitri Storoge, …

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We love

one more time with black barrel, Fred Grivois proves that he is a director who has a truly unique style and gives each of his series a special identity. Here, the station where the series is set is decked out in its finest, giving us the feeling of being in a Stephen King atmosphere (more so than the kind of story we’re being told here). The shift is very strong, too strong. Likewise, if Grivois, a true conductor of the rhythm of the series, sometimes abuses the visual effects a little (e.g. slow motion), but we will not pout his pleasure: the patina of the series, his photography, everything is absolutely gorgeous and gives the series has its very own aura. To complete this meticulous realization and this fully accomplished photo, we must add the simply incredible soundtrack from Thomas Cappeau, one of our very good film music composers, used to different genre projects. outraged trauma etc invitation where he had worked with Fred Grivois, we also owe him the music of TANK and above all the incredibly highly stylized soundtrack by lazy society. Both in terms of production and music, we feel that in this series everything is done to take us out of a “French” environment to further immerse us in an “Anglo-Saxon” universe, as has been the case in the past was ghosts or Zone Blanche.

The other great success of this series is its cast. It must be recognized that the small bowls were placed in the large ones in the first place to allow for a truly orderly distribution Constance Labbe which confirms her status as an actress capable of directing TV series (even if the writers have to be imaginative and offer her something other than cop roles). By his side, Thibault de Montalembert portrays an amazing dark cop who channels his emotions but lets them out at opportune moments and who really finds his place here, essentially in the second part of the series. Special mention also goes to the couple perfectly embodied by the excellent ones Christian Rauth and Christiane Millet. The tenacity of this man who rejected his daughter never falters until a terrifying finale! Finally, note the presence of a very nice discovery, Solene Rigotas an environmental activist who takes all risks and proves to be charismatic.

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Finally, note that the series allows itself several welcome bets throughout its history. Firstly, in France, it’s not that common for a lesbian heroine to wear a prime-time series, a heroine who says it, accepts it, and shows it. As a bonus, if the daily soap operas are regulars, it’s rarer and feels good.
Similarly, the series also runs the risk of confusing the cards about what it really is – a thriller? a choir series? a drama? – as if to surprise the viewer again and again. But we’ll see that we mess up their message a bit by messing up the cards.

Also read Are we watching or not? Balthasar, the last season (TF1) | VL Media (

© Nicolas ROBIN – Macondo – FTV

We love less

It’s a paradox for a series carried by two police heroes, but the thriller is too much in this story. In this series there is enough to tell about the life of this community, the influence that money, rivalries and questions of power have on it; the doubts and wanderings of the station favorite who suffers both physically and mentally; the prodigal daughter who is rejected by her family and returns home with the burden of the past on her shoulders. All these elements, strung together in the pressure cooker of this inland resort, trapped in the snow and just waiting to explode, could have led to the same mind-blowing and amazing finale, without necessarily passing a polar box that, unfortunately, seems more and more inevitable. Let’s take the risk of doing real drama, taking an interest in the intriguing characters of this series. The thriller is just one link in the great story of this series and it devours attention to the detriment of the characters. The same story could have been told without the “thriller” part, and that would have added to the heavy atmosphere that prevails, mixing family drama with the story of corrupt and mafia-like promoters. Yes, thriller lovers will get their money’s worth there as the story is easy to follow but it seems to drag on too long where the characters’ personal histories are steadily rising rather than flagging.

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black barrel
6 x 52 minutes
From January 23 to France 2