Mathieu Amalric plays a befuddled, womanizing professor whose complicated life takes a turn for the worse following the disappearance of a student, in Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu’s wickedly fun comic thriller.
Love is the Perfect Crime
Arnaud Larrieu, Jean-Marie Larrieu
This taut, graceful psychological thriller may nod in the direction of Hitchcock and Chabrol, but only to acknowledge those masters, as Love is the Perfect Crime is, ultimately, very much the creation of the Larrieu brothers. Finely shot, and using the stunning wintry scenery of the Swiss Alps as counterpoint to its eerie tone, this chilling story also carries within it a wonderfully pointed sense of morbid humour that makes the concoction all the more memorable.
Revolving around the sexual predilections of a jejune young professor who is lusted after by the women he meets, the Larrieus' film etches an increasingly bizarre and comedic portrait of a man unexpectedly losing control of virtually every situation in which he finds himself. Living with his dominating and eccentric sister in their mountain lodge, Marc (Mathieu Amalric) is caught between work, the absolutely stunning architecture of the college, and home, a beautifully appointed place of warmth and wood. The divergent physical spaces reflect his Jekyll-and- Hyde personality. One is where he meets the women he beds, the other is his playground. When an attractive student disappears and her stepmother arrives on campus determined to uncover her life is about to become even more so.
The two directors gradually apply more
and more pressure on their befuddled protagonist.
A young policeman, the victim's
stepmother, a sister, the faculty head, and a
besotted nubile all intrude on the fantasy life
of our increasingly confused professor, culminating
in a series of endlessly engaging set
pieces. This film is delicious, wicked fun!