PART OF ANNUAL RENDEZ-VOUS WITH FRENCH CINEMA; SUNDANCE SELECTS TO DISTRIBUTE IN U.S.
Alain Corneau's final film, Crime d'amour, is set to play as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center's 2011 Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series, according to Variety and indieWIRE. The series of 21 films, for which the Film Society partners up with Unifrance Films, runs March 3-13, and will feature a tribute to Corneau, who died of lung cancer last August. Corneau's 1979 thriller Série Noir will also be screened as part of the tribute. Sundance Selects is the distributor for Crime d'amour, which will be remade by Brian De Palma later this year under the title Passion.
Last August, Screen Daily's Lisa Nesselson wrote of Corneau's film, "Office politics fuelled by oestrogen rather than testosterone make Love Crime (Crime D’amour) an entertaining excuse to watch Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier play psychological chess as they brilliantly jockey for the upper manicured hand at the Paris branch of a multi-national agro business firm." Nesselson also described the film's tone as that of a "European art film," adding that "viewers who have become accustomed to the forensic marvels detailed on crime-themed TV shows may find the way the French police conduct their investigation quaint, but the film adds a fun wrinkle to the onscreen annals of so-called perfect crimes." De Palma a la Mod reader Pascal says he just watched the film last week (it was released on DVD in France earlier this month), and it made him think about De Palma, because, wrote Pascal, the movie is good, but lacks a certain hauntedness that he thinks De Palma can bring to the material.
In the 2010 TIFF official description of Crime d'amour, Piers Handling wrote:Imagine Dangerous Liaisons crossed with Working Girl and you are well on your way to the core of Crime d’amour. Alain Corneau’s latest film is a remorseless tale of office politics played out by two ruthless executives, deliciously portrayed by the superb Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier. With ambition and jealousy oozing from their pores, they achieve the magnificent feat of eating up the scenery while delivering highly understated performances as competitive colleagues who become bitter enemies. Corneau’s script is so tight it squeaks, with precise, propulsive scenes that are bitingly sharp and cut to the quick. No asides, no longueurs. This is a masterclass in filmmaking.
Isabelle (Sagnier) is the young ingénue assistant, while Christine (Scott Thomas) is the older woman, a senior executive in a multinational company doing deals around the world. At first they are friendly. Christine, the able executive, is happy to pass the grunt work along to the up-and-coming Isabelle as she learns the ropes. But when Christine starts to take credit for Isabelle’s ideas, and a fellow worker bee begins to fuel Isabelle’s growing doubts about Christine’s duplicitous “all-for-one” attitude, the ground is prepared for all out war. And all out war certainly ensues.
Corneau keeps his explosive material under such fine control that he seduces us into going along for the ride as the devilishly complex plotting, full of surprising twists and turns, unfolds before our eyes. Filling out this mischievous entertainment is a supporting cast of men-on-the-make – from American executives who fly in to approve deals to the police and lawyers who swoop in when things start to go south. Corneau and his cast deliver an immensely enjoyable and delightfully devastating take on the corporate world.
Updated: Tuesday, February 1, 2011 6:15 PM CST
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