Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier are workplace rivals locked in a bristling battle of wits in cunning psychological thriller Love Crime (Crime d’amour), the last, posthumously released film from French director Alain Corneau (Tous les matins du monde), who died in 2010.

Scott Thomas’s Christine is a ruthless Paris-based senior executive for a US multinational and Sagnier’s Isabelle is her ambitious but vulnerable junior. As Isabelle strives to win her boss’s approval, there’s a palpable erotic frisson between the pair that’s only heightened when both sleep independently with Patrick Mille’s smarmy lawyer.

Yet Christine’s true passion lies in manipulating and exploiting her protégée, like a sleek panther toying with a mouse. But when she passes off Isabelle’s ideas as her own, Isabelle reveals sharp claws of her own…

Love Crime - Ludivine Sagnier & Kristin Scott-Thomas

Despite the odd false note, Love Crime’s depiction of corporate backstabbing is scarily believable, yet it’s as a perversely twisted modern film noir that the film delivers its biggest pleasures. The plotting may be impossibly contrived, but Scott Thomas’s high-cheekboned hauteur and Sagnier’s ambivalent frailty make the film compelling.

Brian De Palma has remade Corneau’s film as Passion and, by the looks of the trailer, has ramped up the sapphic subtext (no surprise there). With Rachel McAdams and Noomi Rapace in the leading roles, his remake received its premiere at last year’s Venice Film Festival but still awaits a UK release.

Released on DVD & Blu-ray by Arrow Films on Monday 22nd April.

[swf]http://uk.player.filmtrailer.com/v3.1/&mid=5131&channel_user_id=441100180-1&repeat=1&volume=0[/swf]

To activate the sound in the trailer: hold your cursor over the screen to reveal the control panel and click on the volume control in the bottom right-hand corner.