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Love Crime Review

It is a tale of a mentor, Christine, taking a young, beautiful and highly ambitious assistant, Isabelle (Ludivine Sagnier) under her wing to guide her through and up the corporate ladder. Think All About Eve meets Wallstreet.

Initially, Christine treats Isabelle with a gentle hand as a compassionate boss, encouraging her to learn as much as she can, and quickly. She even bestows expensive gifts on Isabelle, which catches the eye of several coworkers. Is Christine overly generous, flirting or setting her up? Soon more serious responsibilities follow when Isabelle takes over an important business trip to Egypt with a charming co-worker. Business soon turns to pleasure, as it is apparent Christine is manipulating every move Isabelle makes including choosing her lovers. In return, she gives blind loyalty to Christine.

Slowly it dawns on Isabelle that Christine is not all she appears when Christine repeatedly takes credit for her business ideas gaining praise from the CEO. Then a co-worker opens Isabelle’s eyes to the real Christine with stories of similar assistants who were stepped on. Angry and hurt, Isabelle gives her boss a taste of her own medicine by stealing a project from behind Christine’s back. The tongue-lashing Christine gives Isabelle in view of the entire office is Thomas at her bitchy best, Miranda Priestly on steroids.

While it is tempting to reveal more of the plot, especially the last part that involves tasty revenge twists which lead to murder. Alas, too much information would spoil a superior cat-and-mouse film. Kristen Scott Thomas fires on all cylinders and is more than Oscar worthy for her performance that swings from sweet and charming to volcanic and lethal. Not to mention, she looks stunning in every frame. The newcomer Sagnier manages to hold her own making Love Crime resembles a female version of clash of the titans. It is rare to find a thought provoking, suspenseful film with two strong women in a fight to the corporate death.

Sadly, director Corneau died last year unable to enjoy the praises he deserves for creating this masterpiece of high-heeled warriors. He was best known for edgy, testerone dripping crime dramas, making Love Crime a true achievement. With enough twists and turns for a maze, do not miss it.

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