A young woman named Magdalena retrieves a postcard that had been cast into the wind by her biological mother (Bulle Ogier) from a seaside town in Portugal and discovers that she has a twin sister named Maria.
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A young woman named Magdalena retrieves a postcard that had been cast into the wind by her biological mother (Bulle Ogier) from a seaside town in Portugal and discovers that she has a twin sister named Maria. From this seemingly introspective opening premise on identity, connection, and history, Deux diverges into unexpectedly abstract, non-intersecting trajectories that involve a schoolgirl attraction with a fellow classmate, a mother's wartime romance, a serial killer who leaves a tell-tale rose on the bodies of his victims, a lonely woman who adopts a fox as a household pet. Written by
Ulf Kjell Gür
Idiossyncratic, infuriating non-linear autobiographical fantasia - for director fans only
Werner Schroeter has made his entire career as a sort of cursed outcast of the Fassbinder generation of German cinema, alternating highly personal film projects with stage work, directing both opera and theatre productions. "Deux", written expressly for the great Isabelle Huppert (with whom Schroeter had already worked twice previously), is as idiossyncratic and infuriating as any of his previous work, probably more so because it's designed as a sort of "surrealist autobiography" where the director is actually portrayed as two female characters, apparently twin sisters unaware of each other's existence, both played by Huppert. That's about the extent of what you can actually get out of this non-linear transgender fantasia as far as a "plot" goes, since the film is basically an apparently random (and often impenetrable) collage of episodes in the life of both women and also their mother, without any rhyme or reason other than the baroque, operatic transfiguration of Schroeter's own memories into art for art's sake. There's an undeniable visual talent at work here and Huppert's mesmerizing immersion in Schroeter's peculiar universe is outstanding, but the lack of any narrative landmarks for the viewer to anchor himself to eventually turn "Deux" into a radical, experimental piece aimed squarely at a hardcore niche of arthouse audiences aware and knowledgeable about the director's work.
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