Provided by Metacritic.com
Arnaud Desplechin evinces a glancing touch with showing how social tension and need inform law and crime.
Rambling but strangely compelling, Oh Mercy!’s documentary bedrock gives the investigation at the heart of the film a real authenticity. From around its midpoint, this uneven film becomes a riveting, compassionate interrogation drama.
As a policier, Oh Mercy! is an affectionate homage to crime cinema but also an engaging variation on the genre’s tropes.
The A.V. Club
The only real gravitas comes from the reliably excellent Zem, here doing minor wonders with the clichéd role of the good-hearted, unwaveringly calm human lie detector.
Boyd van Hoeij
The Hollywood Reporter
There's little in terms of the tension associated with police thrillers, but it's also not a socio-realist drama or a character study, instead echoing parts of these genres at different times so there's a constant sense of deja vu and reminders of other, better films without the material ever really coming into its own.
Although Desplechin claims his main interest is to get inside the two women’s characters, pushing away moral absolutes about guilt and innocence (yes, “Crime and Punishment” is a key influence), the couple come off as the least interesting people on screen.
Forestier and Seydoux are both fantastically desperate as dead end citizens who met each other at a very dangerous time in their lives, but Desplechin fails to make full use of his actors; instead of allowing them to shade in their characters, he pummels the audience into an ambiguous state of forced sympathy.
Some actors can play anything, but asking super-posh and glamourous Seydoux to play dirt poor is an ask too far.
It is a drama that attempts to behave like a tough police procedural in a quasi-Melville vein, but also like a musing prose-poem about the vanity of human wishes.
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