Film Screening 28th September, 2011

Poster for Love Crime (Crime d'amour)

Love Crime (Crime d'amour) 

8:00 PM, 28th September, 2011

  • M
  • 102 mins
  • 2010
  • Alain Corneau
  • Alain Corneau, Nathalie Carter
  • Ludivine Sagnier, Kristin Scott Thomas, Patrick Mille

Love Crime has been summarised as 'Working Girl meets Dangerous Liaisons'. I may not be old enough to remember Working Girl, but it has certainly been screened with enough regularity on free-to-air TV that I have become familiar with its premise.

Isabelle Guérin (Sagnier) is the young assistant to Christine Rivière (Scott Thomas), head of the French branch of a multinational corporation. After long taking advantage of the work and ideas of her intelligent, ingénue of a secretary, the manipulative female boss finally pushes the relationship too far...

While Working Girl was tame melodrama, Love Crime is a fully-fledged Machiavellian thriller that revels in the malevolence and cutthroat cruelty of ambitious corporate women. Although Isabelle and Christine's relationship begins friendly and mutually beneficial, it soon descends into one of suspicion and duplicity. The insult becomes personal when Isabelle sleeps with Philippe (Mille), Christine's lover (hence the Dangerous Liaisons reference). By then the gloves are well and truly off, and the merciless game to end up on top is well on its way to all out war.

Love Crime is the last feature-length film from Alain Corneau, who passed away several days after the film began screening in French cinemas, and is clear evidence of a director gone too soon. A ticking time bomb of devastating tension amidst a devilishly complex and sinuous plot, it's also set to undergo an English remake as Passion under the guidance of Brian de Palma next year - just in case you needed another reason to come along.

Emma Gardiner