Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Love Crime at the L.A. Film Festival

as published on Examiner.com

When director Alain Corneau passed away August 29, 2010, his final film, Love Crime, was still showing in theaters in France. It is perhaps one of his finest works to date, holding its own against his classics: All the Mornings of the World and Fear and Trembling.

In the beginning of the film, Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier) seems quite enamored with her boss, Christine (Kristin Scott Thomas). Perhaps there is even a bit of sexual tension that leaves the viewer thinking that Isabelle might be a lesbian. Yet as the film unravels, we find out that Isabelle and Christine have had an affair with the same co-worker.

In the story, Christine not only takes credit for Isabelle's work, but is bent on humiliating her. Despite Isabelle's admiration for the woman, she can only take so much before she enacts her quite brilliant revenge. There is perhaps an unbelievable moment or two, but the film remains buoyant and succeeds in pleasing the audience without pandering to it.

It is too bad that Alain Corneau is not here to promote the film in Los Angeles. May 30, 2009, Corneau spoke at LACMA after a showing of Police Python 357, an older film of his that starred Yves Montand. In his discussion, he spoke tenderly about the late Patrick Dewaere, who starred in his film, Série noire.

Love Crime will be showing at the L.A. Film Festival on Friday, June 24th, 2011 (7:10 PM) and Sunday, June 26th, 2011 (1:10 PM). The Consulate General of France in Los Angeles has announced that Ludivine Sagnier will attend both screenings. You may buy your tickets here.