Seven brief scenes, each with a couple, explore the surprises and the changes of heart that can occur during sexual encounters. Only one of the seven couples has been in bed together before... See full summary »
After losing her virginity, Isabelle takes up a secret life as a call girl, meeting her clients for hotel-room trysts. Throughout, she remains curiously aloof, showing little interest in the encounters themselves or the money she makes.
It all looks simple, but what is going on in CRIMINAL LOVERS is complex. Ozon is adept at conveying the shifts in our emotions and clearly enjoys exploring our conflicted natures.
Sexy Alice (Natacha Regnier), a manipulator of men, coerces the sexually uncertain Luc (Jeremie Renier) into murdering the handsome Said (Salim Kechiouche). Although getting rid of the body proves problematic, the couple's real problems begin when they take refuge in an old cottage in the forest.
The owner of the cottage is Karim (Yasmine Belmadi), an odd fellow who develops a fondness for Luc and a hatred for Alice. Perhaps Alice is his competition? The film explores fascinating sexual territory, and even reminded me, tonally, of Japanese pink films such as WIFE TO BE SACRIFICED and CAPTURED FOR SEX 2.
Ozon embraces the provocative subject matter with supreme confidence and never recoils from its inherent darkness. The erotic tension remains taut throughout and the performances are beautifully balanced.
The photography is subdued but stylish and the forest setting echoes "Hansel and Gretel".
There is great intelligence behind this adult fairytale and a willingness to explore sexuality and desire that is never hampered by the stench of political correctness that handicaps so much "edgy" material these days.
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