Review: Love Crime (2010)

Alain Corneau’s psychologoical drama Love Crime is well acted but lags in excitement in parts.

Love Crime marks the final film of director Alain Corneau after the French director died of cancer in 2010, aged 67 and it is a fine end. The film may not be perfect but has made enough impact to catch Brian De Palma’s attention, as he is directing a remake called Passion. Love Crime is a deeply unsettling psychological thriller/drama, with added romance that takes some rather brutal turns. The film in many ways is a comment on the ruthlessness of business culture and the knife in heart tactics of upper management.

The film is at turns exciting and intense, as well as rather twisting towards the legal climax. Then again, there are moments where the ferocity lags and the film seems rather unsure of itself. It is an entertaining film, which may not be completely solid but manages to compel in many parts. Corneau’s direction has allowed for a film of mixed morals and mind to play out quite well and while some things are not always convincing, the film is good value offering the requisite values of a drama/thriller.

There are some strange decisions along the way though, one in particular is the soundtrack in a crucial sequence. Pharoah Sanders score is reliable but during one standout scene and a few others, the jazzy soundtrack jars clearly with the onscreen events. There is a deep-rooted feel to this story and despite the occasional slackening of pace, it is appropriately nasty and rooted in some of the deepest human emotions. However it is not the story itself, nor the direction that is the best thing on show here, that would be the acting.

Kristen Scott-Thomas as boss Christine is ruthless and manipulative. Thomas is one of those actresses who is always ready to work wonders with material and she gives Love Crime a real edge. Likewise her female co-lead in Ludivine Sagnier as Isabelle is brilliant at her opposite and sells the complex emotions with ease. True, the love triangle angle with Patrick Mille’s Phillipe is not always concrete but interesting all the same. Love Crime may have its flaws but is engagingly acted and entrenched in real complex emotions.

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