Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Les Amants Criminels Dir: François Ozon 1999


Alice convinces her impotent boyfriend Luc to kill a classmate after telling him the classmate and 4 of his friends raped her and took photos. Luc seems somewhat attracted to boy he is to help kill but his weak personality is no match for the controlling Alice. She sets up a very sexual trap and Luc violently stabs the naked, innocent young man while she giddily laughs and watches. After the vicious murder, they rob a jewelry store, hide the body in the woods and... well, then it gets weird.

As it turns out, they have lost their way in the woods and come across a cabin where the mute troll-like wooodsman who owns it, traps them in a basement. Suddenly, we are watching “Hansel and Gretel”. The film becomes a perverse version of the well known fairy-tale. The woodsman takes a liking to Luc whom he sodomizes, but otherwise treats him like a preferred pet and leaves Alice to starve in the basement. The woodsman also discovers the murder victim and throws the corpse in the cellar to rot with her. His actions are so horrible that at this point you easily forget what these two have done not so long before. They are so cute, small and innocent looking, you almost can believe they are simply harmless victims... at least compared to their captor.

They do escape and en route away from the cabin of horror, make love in the woods while animals watch in a heavily Disney referenced scene... making it, to say the least, somewhat disturbing and uncomfortably humorous.

This film, despite it’s gruesome subject matter, is beautiful. Much better than Ozon’s first film “Sitcom” and maybe better than his films that followed in many ways. This is one film you can not easily peg down in any sort of category and leaves you unsure what you think, not just about the film, but many other things long after it’s over


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