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Love is the Perfect Crime

Directed by Arnaud Larrieu & Jean-Marie Larrieu

France, 2013

HOME, 28 December 2015

Love is the Perfect Crime

It is an intriguing film, I’ll give it that, if in the end an inconsequential one.

There is a young woman, Barbara, who has disappeared and the police suspect that Marc, her creative writing tutor, has had a hand in it.

Whether through accident or design – and I suspect the latter since, well, it is French – the film has an almost complete absence of suspense, though the portrayal of Marc’s life (Marc is played by Mathieu Amalric, an actor who is always watchable) does make up for this to some extent. He has a an on-off incestuous relationship with the sister he lives with; they share a troubled and traumatic childhood. As well as this, his predatory eye constantly seeks out beautiful young women, of whom there are many here: his students all seem to be failed supermodels. A failed writer himself, content to teach others and quote Breton occasionally, he gets along.

About Breton: there’s an allusion to Nadja and Mad Love and the crime in the film itself – yes, there is a crime though, as I say, there’s no urgent propulsion to solve it – has echoes of the case of Michel Henriot mentioned in Mad Love. Perhaps the French title is a quotation from something by Breton?

Yet even though the use of surrealism adds a layer of intrigue, the film is slow, off-hand, not compelling enough.