Directed by Alain Corneau
When the two female leads in this French workplace thriller become rivals, you can’t help but hope “for things to get really nasty,” said A.O. Scott in The New York Times. Kristin Scott Thomas is “all angles and edges” as a Paris executive who almost sadistically manipulates underling Ludivine Sagnier until the eager assistant turns out to be an even scarier piece of work. “Neither half of the story is persuasive,” really, said Sheri Linden in the Los Angeles Times. But it’s all at least “a bit of dark fun” before a preposterous murder mystery turns this last film from the late director Alain Corneau into a “piffle dressed up in steely sangfroid.” I, for one, couldn’t take my eyes off the screen, said John Anderson in The Wall Street Journal. Not only is Thomas “alarmingly good,” but Sagnier moves far beyond the eye-candy roles she’s usually assigned. Corneau made both performances count, persuading us to see the modern workplace as a stage and turning this pair’s rivalry into a vivid study of “the way in which the world we create around us reflects our inner demons.”
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