Saturday, September 3, 2011

Alain Corneau's swan song, LOVE CRIME -- Kristin Scott Thomas, Ludivine Sagnier star

The corporation as psychotic personality has been picked over by documentaries and narrative films aplenty in the past few years, and god knows this corporate status deserves its lickings (particularly since our own Supreme Court has now gifted the corporation with a status higher than that of America's individuals: Where are those lame-brained tea-party protests when they're actually needed?). To the film canon that points up the corporation's flaws, we can now add LOVE CRIME, the new -- and sadly the last -- film from a fine French director Alain Corneau, shown below, who gave us the disparate delights of Fear and Trembling, All the Mornings of the World, and Fort Saganne.

The film, co-written by Corneau and Nathalie Carter, is also a somewhat clever murder mystery that features crack performances from its two leading ladies and a couple of other excellent ones from its subsidiary males. Kristin Scott Thomas (above, left, and below, right) plays the woman at the top of the French subsidiary of a huge multinational and Ludivine Sagnier (above, right, and below, left) is her unusual assistant, a young woman happy to give her boss all the credit, even when the ideas are her own. (The guys are represented by Patrick Mille, shown at bottom  who plays the source of both business and pleasure for Scott Thomas, and Guillaume Marquet, a business associate of Sagnier who would like to become something more.)

Performances are so good, and the plot is so interesting for awhile that we're hooked. Then, after the moment of truth as it were -- somewhat more than halfway into the film -- exactly what we expect to happen keeps happening, over and over until the finale. For those who enjoy a good mystery, this is very frustrating.

Intelligent viewers like to have their movies keep ahead of them, rather than a mile behind, and as this plot twist has already been used in a few mysteries (one of them by Agatha Christie!), that is unfortunately where we end up. There is a small surprise waiting at the end, but this is far too little too late. Still, the leading ladies (and their gentlemen) make this one worthwhile.

Love Crime, released via Sundance Selects, opened yesterday around town (mine, and maybe yours).

Photos are from the film itself, except that of M. Corneau, 
which comes courtesy of Abaca.

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