Double Lover (2017)


Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.  

Original title:  L’Amant Double

/, 2017.  , , , , , , , , , .  Screenplay by , in collaboration with , freely adapted from the novel Lives of the Twins by .  Cinematography by .  Produced by , .  Music by .  Production Design by .  Costume Design by .  Film Editing by

Francois Ozon films what Hitchcock would likely have made of Fifty Shades of Grey, a very sexy erotic thriller whose only letdown is its weak conclusion.   is excellent as a woman who consults a psychiatrist () about a personal problem she is having, but when they develop a mutual attraction it prevents their professional relationship from continuing.  Shacking up with him and going in search of another doctor, Vacth finds herself in another therapist’s office and with Renier again, as it turns out that, unbeknownst to our heroine, her boyfriend has a twin brother in the same profession.  Fascinated by this man who looks exactly like her partner but with a darker and more dangerous personality (not to mention better hair), Vacth is also upset that she was never told that her boyfriend had a sibling; her obsession with all aspects of both of these men eventually sees her maintaining her relationship at home while having crazy, break-the-furniture sex at the doctor’s office.  When she starts to investigate the evil twin’s past and finds out a secret involving a girl he hurt and left, she descends into a rabbit hole that eventually takes the plot to a twist that, while frustrating, is at least skillfully achieved.  As concise as the ending is, however, it feels a bit like it negates a lot of the psychological exploration that went before it, and likely worked better on the page (Ozon’s script is based loosely on a story by Joyce Carol Oates).  The film’s assets definitely outweigh its negatives, particularly the gorgeous cinematography and editing and the appearance in a small role by the always outstanding .

Cannes Film Festival:  In Competition

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