Two of France’s most watchable actresses – Kristin Scott Thomas and Ludivine Sagnier – head up this otherwise run-of-the-mill and silly Parisian thriller set in a clinical corporate world. The early scenes are promising as high-flying boss Christine (Scott Thomas) quietly manipulates and exploits – always with a smile – junior exec Isabelle (Sagnier). They both earn big money in a global agro firm, although veteran French director Alain Corneau (who died shortly after filming) isn’t so bothered with the fine details of their working lives as much as he is the characters and the relationships between them.
Things turn nasty when Christine’s boyfriend, Philippe (Patrick Mille), starts hopping between the beds of both women, and the film takes a turn for the ridiculous – and mundane – when Isabelle decides to take control of the situation. Early subtleties relating to power, sexuality and rivalries in the workplace disappear, to be replaced by a more straightforward crime story. Corneau’s decision to insert black-and-white flashbacks in the film’s later stages make this feel doubly pedestrian.