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Love Crime [Blu-ray]
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Ruthless executive Christine (Kristen Scott Thomas) takes delight in toying with the innocence of her assistant, Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier), passing her young protégé's ideas on as her own. Confident of her control over Isabelle, Christine leads her into a confusing, perverse game of seduction and domination but ultimately underestimates Isabelle's ambition and cunning leading to an all-out boardroom battle with deadly consequences.
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This classy, twisty, slow, French thriller, stars Kristin Scott Thomas as Christine Rivière a Paris-based business executive with an eye on a top job in New York. Rivière "mentors" the wall-flowerish plain-Jane Isabelle Guérin (Sagnier) and the relationship blossoms; initially into a love affair and then all-out corporate rivalry, as the predatory, cold, Christine begins to resent Isabelle's success and Isabelle wishes to step out of her mentor's shadow......ah, big business.
This initial part of the film is slow and the corporate world shown is ridiculously superficial, however, the focus is on the development of the relationship and rivalry between the two women, which is great. Both the female leads are excellent in their own different ways and nobody does sexy and cold like KST.
The film then switches gear, with a murder, to which Isabelle confesses, however, as the story is revealed, it becomes clearer that all is not what it seems.
Whether the film could have been sustained for its entire length by the initial premise of the two women's no-holds barred rivalry, is open to debate. I personally think it could given just how much time had been invested in developing the characters, however, the second half provides lots of fun trying to piece together the twists and clues, given in flashbacks...did you spot them?
The ending could be seen as either somewhat Shakespearean, poetic justice or a cop-out, depending on your view.
This is typically stylish piece of French film making and the cinematography is fabulous. Recommended.
In French with English subtitles
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