Francois Ozon second feature film is a psychological thriller that’s comes across like a Brothers Grimm fairy tale. Criminal Lovers (1999) stars Natacha Regnier as Alice who persuades one of her more gullible student boyfriends Luc, portrayed by the now very popular French actor Jeremie Renier in only his second feature film, to murder Said a student who Alice accuses of instigating a gang rape. Luc agrees and stabs the boy who Alice has deliberately lured into a honey trap in the school shower. All goes to plan until unbeknown to them they are seen burying their victim in an isolated forest, on the way back to the car they get lost in the woods. Stumbling upon a hermit they discover that this strange man has dug up Said and intends eating the body. Alice is locked in a cellar with only rats for company while the mysterious hermit keeps the nubile young Luc as a sexual plaything.
|Alice and Luc admire their handy work!|
You just know this is not going to end well!!! Ozon’s mix of sadism, sodomy and cannibalism is an early example of the director’s diverse body of work. A very interesting take on Hansel and Gretel which could be a bit of a shock for these that were attracted to the French director by his latest movie Potiche (2010).