Love Crime

Love Crime (French: Crime d'amour) is a 2010 French psychological thriller film starring Ludivine Sagnier and Kristin Scott Thomas. It is the last film directed by Alain Corneau, and was released after his death from cancer.[2]

Love Crime
French theatrical release poster
Directed byAlain Corneau
Produced by
  • Saïd Ben Saïd
  • Alexander Emmert
Written by
  • Alain Corneau
  • Natalie Carter
Music byPharoah Sanders
CinematographyYves Angelo
Edited byThierry Derocles
Distributed byUGC Distribution
Release date
  • 18 August 2010 (2010-08-18) (France)
Running time
106 minutes
  • French
  • English
Budget€6.9 million
Box office$3.6 million[1]


Isabelle (Sagnier) is a young, ambitious and talented executive working in the Paris office of an unnamed multi-national corporation. Her immediate boss is Christine (Scott Thomas), equally ambitious, who presents Isabelle's work as her own to win a promotion to the firm's New York office. Tired of being upstaged, and with the aid of a colleague, Daniel (Marquet), Isabelle blindsides Christine with a secret project that the New York office enthusiastically endorses. Christine's New York promotion is subsequently withdrawn. Enraged by what she considers an act of disloyalty, Christine begins to psychologically torment Isabelle. Christine's lover, Philippe (Mille), works with the firm and is suspected of embezzling funds. Using this information against him, she blackmails Philippe into standing up Isabelle, with whom he is having an affair, leaving her inconsolable. Isabelle is then humiliated at a staff party in which security camera footage of her meltdown is presented to her colleagues.

Relaxing at home after hosting another soiree, Christine is stabbed to death by Isabelle, who plants evidence at the home implicating herself as the killer. With police pursuing the obvious motive that she was taking revenge for her various humiliations at the hands of Christine, Isabelle is arrested and, despite giving all the signs of being in the grips of a nervous breakdown, confesses to, and then is charged with, her murder. Awaiting sentencing in prison, Isabelle withdraws her confession, claiming it was made under duress and while heavily medicated. She begins to pick apart the circumstantial evidence implicating her guilt; scratches on her arm thought to be knife wounds were from a gardening accident, witnesses testify to seeing her at a cinema at the time of the murder and a kitchen knife thought to be the murder weapon is actually located in Isabelle's shed. The last piece of evidence is a torn strip of a scarf found at the murder scene, an item originally given to Isabelle by Christine as a gift. When Isabelle is able to produce an identical scarf, completely intact, at her home, she is cleared of the charges and released from prison. Acting on a tip provided by Isabelle herself, police learn of Philippe's embezzlement, and a search of his property locates the remaining section of the scarf in his vehicle, planted there by Isabelle as part of an elaborate effort to frame him. He is arrested and charged. Isabelle, now free of both her nemeses, returns triumphantly to her company.



The film opened in the United States in September 2011 in a limited release through Sundance Selects. The dialogue is in both French and English; English being spoken only when the characters of Christine and Isabelle have to interact or deal with foreign clients who do not speak French.


The film has received a 64% "Fresh" rating out of 78 critics, according to the website Rotten Tomatoes, with an average rating of 6.2/10. The consensus states "Director Corneau's swan song, Love Crime is smart and typically well-directed, but too thin and formulaic to overcome its melodramatic trappings.".[3]


The film was remade in 2012 with stars Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace in the lead roles, in a French-German[4] remake of the film titled Passion directed by Brian De Palma [5] It was sold at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival.[6] The film was selected to compete for the Golden Lion at the 69th Venice International Film Festival.[7]


  1. Love Crime at Box Office Mojo
  2. Brooks, Xan (6 December 2012). "Ludivine Sagnier: 'I got frightened and shut down'". The Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2015.
  3. Love Crime at Rotten Tomatoes
  4. "Passion (2013)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 26 March 2019.
  5. Merchan, George (2011-12-15). "Brian De Palma's Passion moves forward with Noomi Rapace and possibly Rachel McAdams – Movie News". Retrieved 2012-01-24.
  6. Tartaglione, Nancy. "Wild Bunch's Cannes Slate Includes Brian De Palma, Vincenzo Natali And Jean-Luc Godard". Retrieved 2012-05-09.
  7. "Venezia 69". labiennale. Archived from the original on 2012-07-28. Retrieved 2012-07-28.
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