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I first saw this movie in '80 when it came out in the cinema and liked
it a lot! So some years later I taped it when it was on TV. Recently I
found this tape in my (very large!) collection of (sometimes very!) old
movies and watched it again. I was very surprised to discover that it
was still a very up-to-date, very powerful and very VERY touching
movie, regardless the fact that it is a quarter of a century old! I
looked it up in the IMDb and was very disappointed to see that it got
such a low rating! The audience that gave this low rating consisted
mostly of men, probably because the title TWICE A WOMEN gives possibly
a rather "wrong" impression of the kind (!) of movie that it really is!
It is not a sex thing but instead a tender and moving lesbian love
TWICE A WOMEN is based on the famous dutch book, TWEE VROUWEN written in '75 by Harry Mulisch (a famous dutch writer), that was rather controversial in those days. It's about a lesbian relationship, not common at that time, especially in the way that it is told: a very positive and understanding approach rather unusual in those early days! The movie, made by George Sluizer (yes, the famous Sluizer!) in '79, covers the book entirely. The story that is told is in a way timeless: it is set in the '70, but it could just as well be happening today!
*******SPOILER ALERT !!!******
Somewhere in Amsterdam, two women meet while admiring jewels in the window store of a shop. There is Laura, 41 years old, divorced, no children, director of a museum, and Sylvia, 21 years old, who came shopping to the city on her day off from work;she is a hairdresser who lives with her parents somewhere in the country. The two women feel almost instantly very strongly attracted to one another. Laura invites Sylvia for a drink at her place and they end up in bed! This is the beginning of a tender love story as Sylvia moves in with Laura and her cat. Everything goes well at first, despite the difference of age and Sylvia's strict parents who are kind of deceived with a photo of Laura's alleged son. But then Alfred, Laura's ex-husband, comes in the picture and the story takes a rather dramatic turning when Sylvia apparently decides to run off with him. However, when Sylvia returns to Laura, it is Laura who is surprised to find out why it has happened ( I'm not telling the whole story !! ) !!!!
George Sluizer, who directed the movie, did a very good job with the book! He captured the essential tag-line of the book (with the exception of Laura's Childhood memories ; that part would have been better left out of the movie!). He also got the perfect actors : the great Bibi Andersson, a Swed's actress, well-known from her Ingmar Bergmann-films (PERSONA, SMILES OF A SUMMERSNIGHT ; she also had a brief relationship with Bergmann!) plays Laura in a very sensitive, very touching manner; Anthony Perkins is astonishingly good as the macho ex-husband Alfred; and Sandra Dumas (only 17 years old at the time! she later took the name SANDRINE Dumas) is amazingly convincing in her (very first!) role as Sylvia! The story is told in an understanding and very delicate way, and Sluizer never uses it as an extra opportunity to show explicit lesbian sex scenes (So please don't watch the movie for that reason only because You'll be utterly disappointed!).
Oh yes, let me set something straight: the movie is English SPOKEN instead of dutch as is stated in the description IMDb! There exists no dutch version! This is a lesbian love-story and a very good (25 year old!) movie that even nowadays can still be compared with DESERT HEARTS or IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK 2. Because of that I think it is rather a women's movie (especially lesbians will embrace it!) and so I wouldn't recommend it to most men in the audience!
I would first give 9/10 but, since this film is still as interesting as 25 years ago, I now say 10/10! This is definitely not a "guy thing", but if you are a women especially a lesbian women! and have the opportunity to see this 25-year-old movie then DO IT, you won't be disappointed!
How can you go wrong with two of the best actors around -- Anthony
Perkins and Bibi Andersson?
Well, add one absolutely horrid actress. Mix in some overwrought music. Combine this with atrocious editing, so-so cinematography, and an adequate director.
Oh, and don't forget the lousy screenplay, filled with characters who are either pitiable or just plain unlikeable.
I had to give Mr. Perkins and Miss Andersson two stars each for surviving this catastrophe. In fact, the scenes with the two of them are the only aspects of this movie worth watching.
Both are great actors, and have worked with the best. How they found themselves caught in this mess is a mystery that ranks right up there with the Holy Trinity and the Bermuda Triangle.
OK, so now I own a copy. I think I'll keep it. If I ever get discouraged with my writing, I'll just pop this in to remind myself just how terrible some movies can be.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
A touching and moving film in the style of Ingmar Bergman. I had a copy on Betamax years ago but that's gone bye the bye! Why won't whoever owns the rights to it put it on to DVD????? There's a market for this kind of drama and it's a must for anyone interested in this genre. Maybe it exposes the cracks in traditional society and the fecklessness of same sex relationships, but it also portrays a beautiful love story that might appear, at first sight, to be ill-fated with the appearance of the husband - I say no more. It is a beautiful emotional drama and deserves to be on DVD!!!! Many of my female friends are gay - and most of them hold a similar opinion concerning this film.
As Sylvia there is called the name of Sandrine Dumas but it is Sandra Dumas a dutch model in those years. She only made her appearance in Twice a Woman (Twee Vrouwen). There is now (2008) a new RESTORED release of that PICTURE as part of "Beelden voor de Toekomst" from the Dutch Filmmuseum e.a. Completely remastered and part of two copies re-aranged and fixed in association with the director George Sluizer. He managed to get two Hollywood stars in his picture. Bibi Anderson and Anthony Perkins. An unicum in dutch filmhistory in that time. But it still is a brilliant piece of work. Both the writer (Harry Mulisch) as the director.
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