Love Crime

2011

Love Crime (2011)

TOMATOMETER

Critic Consensus: Director Corneau's swan song, Love Crime is smart and typically well-directed, but too thin and formulaic to overcome its melodramatic trappings.

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The final film from director Alain Corneau, Love Crime pits the fiery talents of Ludivine Sagnier and Oscar-nominee Kristin Scott Thomas against each other in a deliciously twisted tale of office politics that turn, literally, cut-throat. When Christine, a powerful executive (Scott Thomas), brings on a naive young ingenue, Isabelle (Sagnier), as her assistant, she delights in toying with her naivete and teaching her hard lessons in a ruthless professional philosophy. But when the protege's ideas become tempting enough for Christine to pass one as her own, she underestimates Isabelle's ambition and cunning- and the ground is set for all out war. In this devilish, propulsive thriller, Corneau sets up the scenery expertly and his actors devour it. -- (C) IFC

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Critic Reviews for Love Crime

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (22)

Love Crime has some intriguing touches, but a good deal of hammy acting as well, and the crucial murder scene is bafflingly accompanied by an ill-chosen Japanese-flavoured dinner-jazz soundtrack that kills the tension.

Dec 13, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Love Crime may not have much to do with love, but the crimes are meanly delicious.

Oct 28, 2011 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

The movie veers off in a different direction about two-thirds of the way through; the shift is initially jarring but eventually rewarding.

Oct 20, 2011 | Rating: 3/4

Would anyone really perpetrate a scheme as complicated and risky as Isabelle's? Not likely - but that's why we go to the movies.

Oct 7, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This is a ridiculous movie - a thriller so indifferent to suspense, so above mystery that one character literally stabs another in the front.

Oct 6, 2011 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. Especially one in a power suit, who knows how to work a room.

Sep 30, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Love Crime

½

Interesting movie. I found Ludivine Sagniers acting to be questionable..but all in all a decent attempt at a thriller. I have read that an American version is being discussed..

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Kinda strange, but a fun watch.

Jason Robinson
Jason Robinson

Super Reviewer

If you've ever been in a relationship with a working female you've probably heard something along the lines of "that bitch is out to get me" from your partner. In 'Love Crime', the "bitch" in question is Thomas, a cold-hearted executive who manipulates her latest underling, Sagnier, a young assistant who seems to hero worship her boss, at least at the outset. Sagnier throws herself into her work, only for Thomas to steal the credit and claim the ideas as her own. On the advice of a smitten male co-worker, Sagnier decides to go behind Thomas' back with her latest project, impressing the Washington office but igniting a new level of fury from Thomas whose chances of a transfer to New York have now been scuppered. Thomas' workplace intimidation now reaches new levels, culminating in her sleeping with Sagnier's lover and showing footage of Sagnier's hysterical reaction to an uncomfortable office party audience. Given this final straw, Sagnier decides it is time to break this camel's back. 'Love Crime' was originally released in it's native France back in 2010, long enough ago for an American remake to have already been completed. No doubt it's due to this remake, Brian De Palma's upcoming 'Passion', that Corneau's thriller is finally receiving a limited release in English speaking territories. It's one of those rare movies which could benefit from a remake and it will be interesting to see if De Palma can give it a more cinematic feel. Corneau's original is at it's best in it's first, more dramatic, half, essentially a two-hander between it's female leads. When the thriller element kicks in, Corneau struggles to present the plot in an engaging way. Thomas is on fire here, playing a female twist on Kevin Spacey's Hollywood exec from 'Swimming With Sharks'. Actresses are increasingly finding themselves cast aside upon reaching middle age, struggling to find a good role. Some have chosen to enter the world of TV where roles for older women have always been far more plentiful. Thomas has taken advantage of her fluency in the French language to reinvent herself and she's reaping the rewards. Corneau has given her probably her greatest performance with a role that seems purposely written for her. We saw a glimpse of her playing this kind of bitchy character in last year's 'Salmon Fishing in the Yemen' and here she essentially plays a similar role but with the comedy removed. When a male character confesses to being afraid of her, you genuinely believe him. Unfortunately she doesn't get half as much screen time as the less interesting Sagnier and the movie suffers greatly for this. Corneau's film is half workplace drama, half 'Columbo' episode. The former is riveting, the latter not so much. For thriller aficionados only.

The Movie Waffler
The Movie Waffler

Super Reviewer

½

"Love Crime" starts with Christine(Kristin Scott Thomas) and her protege Isabelle(Ludivine Sagnier) working late into the night but struggling with a business proposal until Cristine's lover and business associate Philippe(Patrick Mille) shows up. Later, Isabelle finds a solution which earns her a trip to Cairo with the presentation and Philippe where the two get carnal on the side. However, it is Christine who ends up in line for a promotion when she takes credit for Isabelle's hard work. In response, Daniel(Guillaume Marquet) gives Isabelle a lead on a promising project. If that falls through, she could always invest in leather gloves and prescription medication. "Love Crime" works best with the psychosexual themes of its first half before a pure wow moment. After that, the movie drags about in its game playing before a neat kicker of an ending. Like some of the characters, the movie is not quite as smart as it thinks it is. Regardless, on cetral display quietly commanding the room is gender. Except for one late scene, Chrstine and Isabelle seem to be the only women in the corporate office. Isabelle might think of herself as being part of a sisterhood but this is irrelevant to Christine who is only in it for herself. All of which is part of a valuable lesson in corporate life where one should never confuse business with friendship and everybody has a breaking point. Christine is nice to Isabelle because of the work she does, not as a person.(Christine's smile is not a friendly one. It is the same one the big bad wolf would use.) In return, Isabelle naively develops a crush on her boss.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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