The Perfect Mother (Une mère parfaite)

Julie Gayet in The Perfect Mother

The Perfect Mother (Une mère parfaite) is a 4 part mystery series about the relationship between mothers and children. It dwells on the theme that mothers believe the best of their children, no matter what. It also touches on the loneliness and isolation that can come from facing the truth about your own children.

The story in The Perfect Mother (Une mère parfaite) begins in both Berlin and Paris. In Berlin, Hélène Berg (Julie Gayet) celebrates her birthday. With her are her husband Matthias (Andreas Pietschmann) and her teenage son Lukas (Maxim Driesen).

Eden Ducourant in The Perfect Mother

Their 20 year old daughter, Anya (Eden Ducourant), is in Paris. She’s in the midst of a serious crisis. When she calls home in tears, her mother leaves immediately for Paris to help her.

Anya’s crisis is her involvement in a murder. She was found at a murder scene. The police take her in for questioning. Capitaine Mani (Cyril Gueï) is in charge of the case.

When Hélène gets to Paris, she enlists the help of her former lover Vincent Duc (Tomer Sisley). He’s a former cop, now a lawyer. His connection to the police helps the two of them run their own investigation into what happened.

It immediately becomes clear that Anya lies. Her story changes in every episode. That creates interesting twists in the story, but unfortunately I realized in the first episode what Anya’s whole thing was about. In terms of suspense, I wish it had taken me longer get that plot point.

The dead man raped Anya. He had a history of abusing women. His mother believed he was as innocent as Anya’s mother believed her to be. It was an interesting dynamic to see these two protective mothers work their way through the details of the story.

I liked the idea that the mystery was told in only 4 episodes. That didn’t diminish the suspense or the way the investigation into what happened was slowly revealed.

Poster for The Perfect Mother

For some reason, this particular Netflix production didn’t have the proper setting for audio and subtitles. I chose the original language, which Netflix judged French, for the audio. However there were many times when the subtitles said the characters were speaking German or English, and the audio still sounded French. In other films and TV series with multiple languages, Netflix usually lets you choose to hear whatever language the actors actually spoke. It made me wonder if I was hearing a dubbed in French version of the series.

Overall, I thought the series was engaging and interesting. The actors were excellent and the way flashbacks were used to dig into the truth was well done.

If you watch it, I invite you to share your thoughts in the comments below.

4 thoughts on “The Perfect Mother (Une mère parfaite)”

  1. thanks for the tip on changing the language – I don’t like to watch when shows are dubbed. – we are half way through – its a pretty good series – starting to think Anya is not really a victim

  2. christopher a swaby

    the language issue was perplexing but didnt take away from enjoyment of the series. every episode gives the viewer a bit more information on what happened in the precipitating incident. i wasnt happy with how it ended but to explain why would necessitate spoilers. that said, i felt every character acted consistently throughout, at least, once we get to the last episode and know the complete truth.

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