Love Crime (2011) Review

Love Crime is a diabolically justifiable cinematic concoction of getting just that for which you wish. It is authentically “French”, in its existential view of life, and classic Hollywood, in its perspective on love. Love Crime is a film noir for cinephiles who are heavy on their appreciation of style, panache and wickedly balanced karma.

Viewers begin mid-spiral of an ongoing web. Employee and supervisor, Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier) and Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas) respectively, are perilously joined in a coup d’état with no foreseeable end. These modern professionals offer no clear delineation of their relationship, be it public or private. Christine is the selfish and cutthroat executive to Isabelle’s loyal and indispensible assistant. Their work relationship spills into public functions as well as personal and intimate moments of home life. The contrast in personalities blurs as the passion of hubris demeans and sabotages each contender.

It is Director Alain Corneau’s vision to develop a story of such compelling abysmal tangle amid a dynamic so ambiguous in nature that the exchange and interaction between the main characters possesses an intimate asexuality, if only by technicality. His interpretation of the ‘perfect crime’ is gnarly and rough like steel wool set against a grey silk damask.

Corneau’s talent for creating and establishing logical and independent characters is exemplified in Love Crime. Audiences are kept in awe of the developing insights into the actions and decision-making process of successful and strategic thinkers when they go toe-to-toe.

This movie takes the theory of job security and flips it on its ear. Everything hits the fan when greedy investments turn sour and each person must vie for self. Under pressure, it becomes unclear who has the upper hand and who is the sitting duck.

Writer Natalie Carter keeps the women inherently feminine. There is a structure and cunning she is able to deliver by the sleek method in which she purifies cattiness with venom. The motive, deeds and inner sanctum of these women are revealed in increments; never too much at a time and only as much information as is necessary.

The subtle crescendo reaches an urgency as opposition coils itself into the daily routines of life at the international corporate level. The severe color palette is a constant reminder of this throughout the entire melee. Heavy grays with accents of tonal yellows, rich blues and muted reds solidify the agony and yearning of the bi-polar war raging between the businesswomen.

The battle for money and power takes on a new face in these chic and relentless warriors. The musical styling of Pharoah Sanders on tenor sax and his haunting jazz chorus leads viewers in a Pied Piper of misery and frenetic expectation on the downward spiral of status and poetic justice. His strange melody is a lullaby of comeuppance.

Love Crime is for viewers who enjoy duplicity and suspense. The high style of French drama and intrigue will strike the right chord for lovers of the grit in true noir. This psychological thriller is chic, sexy and leaves audiences breathless. Enjoy it with a roommate who keeps leaving the milk carton empty.