Love Crime is a film about two women in competition with one another. This isn’t a new genre, of course. We’ve seen this kind of cutthroat situation since All About Eve in 1950. An older woman vs. a younger woman: only one can win. But this French thriller has a few twists that will, at the very least, keep you wanting to figure out who will win in the end.
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
Ludivine Sagnier plays Isabelle, a young up-and-comer at a Parisian marketing firm. Her boss, Christine, is played by Kristin Scott Thomas, who is perfectly cool and conniving, taking credit for Isabelle’s good, hard work.
Sagnier and Thomas are brilliant in their respective roles. Isa is a buttoned-up, sexless business woman that recycles her work clothes frequently. She drives a simple car, lives alone in a tidy house and respects authority. Christine is a rich, well-dressed vice president who has two lovers and a talent for charming her peers with lies and made-up stories.
From the beginning of the film, Christine exerts her power over Isa, rubber her shoulders, kissing her neck, complimenting her scent. She gifts Isabelle with a scarf she admires and later on tells her she loves her.
But the two never share any other romantic moments as Isa soon catches on to Christine’s true motives. Christine wants to make the move to the New York office, and the only way to do so is to piggyback on the work of Isabelle. At first, Christine manages to convince her it’s all in the name of teamwork. Eventually, Isa comes to realize she’s a pawn in Christine’s game. It’s not all work-related: Christine sends her lover, Phillip, to Cairo with Isa for a business meeting, knowing they will sleep together. She uses their sexual entanglement to play with Isa’s emotions, and to embarrass her in front of her co-workers.
Once Isa has had enough of being played with, the love she said she had for Christine in return has vanished. This is where the “crime” comes into play.
The second half of the film follows Isabelle’s plotting and murdering of Christine. But while at the scene, she carefully plants evidence that points back to her. Viewers are confused but intrigued. Why would such a careful, aspirational young executive want to be found out for killing her boss? It’s all part of Isa’s plan.
As the plot plays out, you’ll wonder if Christine has won by truly driving Isabelle mad, or if Isa is just as conniving as the woman she’s murdered. If she was motivated by love, it was more for the love of power, and that’s one thing the women ultimately have in common.
Watch the trailer for Love Crime below: