Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

LOVE CRIME

LOVE CRIME (aka Crime d'amour/2010). Director: Alain Corneau.

Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier) is assistant to Christine (Kirstin Scott Thomas), who gleefully takes credit for the former's work and justifies it by saying they're a "team." Ah, but when Isabelle goes behind her boss' back to get the credit she deserves on another project, Christine is livid and does her best to humiliate her. It doesn't help that both women are involved with the same man, Philippe (Patrick Mille). Now this is when the story should start to rivet the audience, but instead it turns into a slow, predictable non-thriller during which the viewer knows all the answers before the police do. Anyone expecting a study of diabolical revenge -- as Love Crime was promoted -- should look elsewhere. It's also hard to get into a battle of wits between two characters when one of them is dead throughout much of the movie. With its incredibly inept policemen -- among other reasons -- the movie is never believable. [A large part of one character's alibi is that she was at the movies, but the cops never suspect she might have walked out of the theater instead of watching the picture -- huh?] It's hard to understand why this picture got such rave reviews, especially from supposedly knowledgeable critics who should have known better. One reviewer even thought this was an excellent example of film noir -- what? Although the acting is good, the one-dimensional characters and lack of music don't help at all. It's also hard to understand why director Brian de Palma thought enough of the film to do an American remake, the upcoming Passion, which will hopefully be a lot better. There have been several telefilms about harried assistants getting even with miserable bosses that were a lot better and more  visceral and energetic than this.

Verdict: More like one of your lesser Lifetime movies than Double Indemnity. **.   

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