DVD Crime d’amour

DVD Crime d’amour
Run time: 106 min
Rating: 6.5
Genres: Crime | Mystery | Thriller
Director: Alain Corneau
Writers: Alain Corneau, Natalie Carter
Stars: Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Mille
Storyline
Ruthless executive Christine brings on Isabelle as her assistant, and she takes delight in toying with the young woman’s innocence. But when the protégé’s ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass on as her own, she underestimates Isabelle’s ambition and cunning — and the ground is set for all out war. Written by Anonymous
Plot Keywords: corporation, ambition, lawyer, getting away with murder, writing in blood
Details:
Country: France
Release Date: 14 December 2012 (UK)
Box Office
Opening Weekend: $43,335 (USA) (16 September 2011)
Gross: $538,356 (USA) (18 November 2011)

4 Comments

  1. Someone who says that only men are capable of cruelty has not watched this movie. A fine example of cruelty and a very good movie (with very good actresses as well). I won't spoil anything about the story or the characters, but I can tell you that it is more about the road than the ultimate goal. It isn't very hard to see where this is heading and you might also see what it achieves to do.

    Still very well made and executed with the mentioned central performances that are just amazing. The women go head to head (with different style and results of course), which might be enough for you to not see the obvious flaws. It was as you can see and read, enough for me.

  2. French director Alain Corneau (who, alas, died a week after the premiere of this last movie of his and who also made the sublime 17th century music drama "Tous les matins du monde") managed to get 2 class actresses for the main roles here in this French-language movie, Kristin Scott Thomas (Christine Riviére) and Ludivine Sagnier (Isabelle). Christine is quite believable as manager of the Paris branch of a multinational (fake name, Barney Johnson, but mainly shown on their office paper) in product strategies for food, perfectly cast here as business woman. The main offices are in America (New York and Washington, so there are some English dialogs with executives from these offices, very short) and we see Isabelle going to Cairo (although surely not filmed there). She is not so believable as being the 2nd in command. I was not so aware of her having such high position until a Japanese delegation wants a picture with the 2 top managers of this firm (her and Christine). The work environment is quite unbelievable,just designer office rooms with a desk on which you almost don't see them doing anything and in the meetings they are in, nothing is discussed, only showing the ends of these meetings. But this movie is about the power struggle between these 2 and who they use and abuse for their purpose of getting to the top (Christine is aiming at a job in the head office in New York). This is the best part of the movie. Isabelle is extremely fanatical about her work, which means everything to her, she has no friends (as Sagnier said in a Dutch interview). This hard-working Isabelle does the best work but Christine claims it as having been hers on 3 occasions. Isabelle both admires (loves) and hates Christine. Christine says at one point that she loves Isabelle. Both have a love-affair with the same colleague, who at a certain moment is being blackmailed by Christine, much to the disgust of Isabelle. It all turns wrong when Christine shows security camera pictures of Isabelle having gotten angry and having a car accident in the garage and humiliates her in front of all their colleagues at a party, where she already felt uncomfortable, not talking with anyone. Christine meant it as a joke, she said, but her degrading remarks to Isabelle show otherwise. The rest of the movie is all about Isabelle's quite-clever-or-not revenge, which I won't reveal here (one can find more than enough about that already). It's all not terribly surprising or great cinema, but it is an entertaining thriller which grips you from beginning to end, despite some incredibleness. I think money is well spent on going to this movie, especially if you're a fan of Kristin Scott Thomas, who speaks excellent French and is great here, as usual. 104 minutes, some flashbacks in black and white. If you liked "La Tourneuse de Pages", this comes close, at least in the beginning. I have seen it twice now (2 pre-premieres) and must say the beginning remains fascinating, whereas the second part becomes weaker the more you see it, but it still is an ingenious detective plot, a tribute to this much too young deceased (67) film-maker.

  3. Having watched Sweet Karma earlier tonight, I don't know if I was in the mood for two revenge movies, but this is very different.

    A favorite of mine, Kristin Scott Thomas (The English Patient, Four Wedding and a Funeral) stars with another fave, Ludivine Sagnier (Swimming Pool, 8 Women). They are number one and two in a multinational's Paris location. Christine Thomas) is not above stealing the ideas of Isabelle (Sagnier) to get transferred to New York.

    This was director Alain Corneau's last film, and it has already been picked up for a remake by Brian DePalma coming out this year. It is rumored that Rachel McAdams (Sherlock Holmes, Red Eye) and Noomi Rapace (the original Lisbeth Salander) will star.

    After Christine threatens and humiliates Isabelle, she plots her revenge. Needless to say, it is an elaborate plot. I can't say anything more or it will spoil the film for you.

    It had me on the edge of my seat in the second half.

  4. SPOILERS !!!

    About a year ago, I watched another movie about a initially harmless girl turning homicidal – Amanda Seyfried in Atom Egoyan's "Chloe". "Love Crime" shares some similarities, but there are a lot of differences. For one thing, it's in French.

    Many critics fault this movie for the almost idiotic simplicity in depicting corporate warfare, in the relationship between a rising protégé (Ludivine Sagnier as Isabelle or "Isa") and an appreciative mentor (Kristin Scott Thomas as Christine) turning sour. I think they are missing the point. The movie makers did not want to waste time or energy on the background, but focused on the two protagonists. The story might have just easily taken place as academic rivalry in a university campus, for instance.

    The criticism that the multi-front rivalry (work and lover) and public humiliation (a coup disguised as harmless sense of humour) should not be enough to provoke murder holds more water. Not even the desire to remove an obstacle on getting ahead is sufficient motivation. If real life is like this, corporate head-hunters will be having a field day searching for executive replacements. But again, I proffer the same argument: the movie makers just want to bring about a murder, illogical as the cause may be.

    So what's the point? This is not whodunit suspense. The narrative style is one of omniscient point of view. As an audience, you are along with the perpetrator for a ride all the time. The fun is in seeing (and sometimes guessing) how she uses the "self-framing" trick (think "The wrong man" but in that movie the audience is in the dark and are in for a big surprise, unless they are really smart) to get away with murder, literally. And there is even more fun is in her reverse-framing gambit to get even with the spineless lover. But there is one final, albeit very small twist: you may be smart, but there is always someone else watching.

    The two stars get equal billing, at least in the posters but Thomas is really just a support with a big part. She is killed just a little past the mid point of the movie, which brings me back to my summary line. If you have watched Sagnier in Francois Ozon's "Swimming Pool" (2003) acting opposite Charlotte Rampling, you'll remember how good she was in portraying these psychological duels and in holding her own against a calibre actor.

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