Sunday, September 25, 2011

Love Crime

Writes Roger Ebert: Alain Corneau's "Love Crime" is a diabolical mystery movie with one of those plots where we suppose we understand everything that's happening, and then get the rug pulled out from under us. It's a contest of will between two women executives in the French headquarters of an American multinational, and involves bloodthirsty office skullduggery and intrigue. The two lead performances make it work, even if the plot eventually seems devious for its own sake.

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One of the pleasures is watching the gears mesh. The screenplay has been written by Corneau and Nathalie Carter with meticulous attention to detail. Like classic mystery authors, they play fair, so that the surprises at the end are consistent with what we've seen — although we didn't realize it at the time.

Kristin Scott Thomas is good at roles like these, with a combination of sensuality and ruthlessness. Her fluency in the language has given her a new career as a French star, at a time when French filmmakers are more interested than Americans in middle-aged women. The movie depends, however, on Ludivine Sagnier, who is convincing both in early scenes when she's helpless and clueless, and later when she holds the cards and pulls the strings.

This is the final film by Alain Corneau, who died last year at 67. His best film was "Tous les Matins du Monde" (1991), which starred Gerard Depardieu in one of his best performances as a regretful old musician. He also directed a favorite of mine, "Fear and Trembling" (2003), which also involved two women in competition. "Love Crime" is equally involving.

The Complete Review Here.

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