Ne te retourne pas (2009) Poster

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A Nutshell Review: Don't Look Back
DICK STEEL12 December 2009
Selected for competition in Cannes this year and the closing film at Singapore's French Film Festival, Don't Look Back is a rather straight-forward psychological drama starring two European actresses who would need no introduction in Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau playing the same role of Jeanne, or so it seems.

We're introduced to Sophie's version first, where she's attempting to write a novel after a series of successful non-fiction works, for the sole reason of revisiting her much forgotten, and likely repressed past. Despite her publisher's persuasion to abandon the idea because it's only to dig up some skeletons best left hidden, she forges forward and bit by bit discovers that she's starting to lose her mind, where furniture starts to be in places she no longer remembers, and family members start to look physically different, which of course is enough for anyone to freak out. And the icing of the cake, she morphs from French looking Sophie Marceau, to the Italian babe Monica Bellucci. Which is not a bad thing of course, considering one can morph into somebody less attractive or endowed even.

In the meantime, we're left to wonder if Jeanne (in whichever version) is starting to lose it, whether it could be an extreme and early onset of the Alzheimer's, as roads become unrecognizable, husbands become someone else, and scars disappear and reappear. It's an extreme case of severe identity crisis where one is thankful that it doesn't take the cop-out route and make everyone wake up from a bad nightmare.

It's an extremely well made psychological piece which explores the fear that comes with losing the things that we hold dear, and also the uncomfortable sense of being outside an established comfort zone, journeying into the big unknown, deducing what actually is happening, despite not knowing where to start, and the developing suspicion that everyone is in on the joke, except for yourself.

It's tough to compare who was the better Jeanne, because Sophie disappears for the most part from the second act onwards. Screen time shared by both actresses in the same frame is extremely limited as well, so we'd only get to savour one sold performance after another, turn-based. There's a proper explanation to everything that's happening, though one has to be patient in order to allow the narrative to reveal itself in due course. So meanwhile, accept what's presented, and try to piece together the jigsaw yourself.
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Two for the price of one
harry_tk_yung10 December 2009
Warning: Spoilers

I am going to start with a full revelation of the plot, something you would only see at the conclusion of the movie. You have been WARNED! An Italian girl Rosa Maria born out of the mother's licentious liaison is obviously not exactly a favourite of the father-in-name, and is given away to a wealthy French family which has a daughter Jeanne about her age, 8. In a car accident, Jeanne is killed and the family raises Rosa Maria as a substitute.

At the beginning of the movie, Jeanne (Sophie Marceau), happily married and with 2 kids, is a successful non-fiction writer wanting to venture into fiction. She has by this time completely lost her memory of what happened when she was 8. The desire to bring back her childhood memory to fuel the novel she was about to write awakens the long hidden Rosa Maria. The story unfolds as a psychological drama of split personality, in Jeanne's quest to discover Rosa Maria.

This sounds so simple going backwards. But remember that the audience knows nothing about the plot and, with red herrings abound, would likely start by thinking that they may be watching a horror thriller with supernatural or human villains. But by the time Sophia Marceau is transformed right before their eyes into Monica Bellucci, the more seasoned moviegoers would have a general feel for the direction this is going, especially when nobody in the story seem to notice any change in Jeanne. The suspense and the narrative work well and the final revelation is clever. The conclusion is quite satisfactory. Both lead ladies deliver.

If only out of curiosity, you might ask yourself if one actress will do, split personality notwithstanding. It would actually be a good challenge for a capable actress, and the makeup team can do the rest. But the movie makers obviously saw this as a good opportunity to put two of the most beautiful actresses in Europe today together. What you get therefore is two for the price of one. I'm not complaining. Are you?
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Do film critics snob good French movies?
steve-ruzicka24 April 2010
Many angles are possible to represent personality disorders. Delivering an exciting movie with this subject is a challenge which I believe writer/director Marina de Van succeeded with beautifully. The tension and attention span gradually increase as does the spectator disorientation with subtly changing details to full decors. The physical changes are superbly rendered and here again the spectator starts to loose his/her reference points. In other words, we are inside Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci and move with her/them to try and understand. Both actresses perform splendidly and beyond feeling for their life's search, one leaves the movie with a strong bond for both personalities. In summary, I liked the movie for the storyline, the subtle crescendo along the time line, the actresses performance and the total attention span to try and understand (if I had been part of their life, I would have tried to help, but probably to no avail). I am a little sad for the low rating (6 at the time of this review).
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A strange, fascinating, and thought-provoking thriller
gridoon20185 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
"Don't Look Back" is decidedly not for all tastes: impatient non-thinkers who want everything handed to them on a silver platter need not apply. Writer-director Marina de Van certainly does not make it easy on the audience: she never shows the heroine's hallucinations from an "objective" point-of-view, so that we can easily tell what's real and what's not. Instead, she films them in a matter-of-fact way - we see what she sees, we hear what she hears. My personal "reading" of the film (and there can certainly be more than one), and also a reminder for when things get too strange, is that nothing supernatural occurs in the film; it's all psychological. Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci (both of them still highly desirable at 40+, I might add) appear to be playing the same character (and they do it excellently), but only one of them is "really real"; her perception of people (including herself) and things around her occasionally changes based on what she feels, what she learns, what she remembers. "Don't Look Back" is also a great example of creative (and non-redundant) use of computer effects, helping with some remarkable face transformations. The film is not perfect: it's quite slow and a few things are never explained. But it invites you to think and theorize - and such films are becoming more and more rare these days. *** out of 4.
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Returning To Lost Memories
Chrysanthepop14 July 2010
Marina De Van's 'Ne Te Retourne Pas' is a complex psychological puzzle and an engaging watch. Starring the world's two of the most beautiful actresses, it definitely grabs the attention of us straight males and lesbians. One can definitely expect sensuality but this movie is much more than that.

First of all their are various ways to interpret the story and 'conclusion'. It's a layered story but one that is open to interpretation. I won't say much else about it because it is best for the viewer to experience and understand it in their own way rather than me telling them how to see it. The lead character is excellently written and we see most of the film from her point of view. At times the situations are confusing and questions, with many possible answers, are raised.

Right from cinematography, location, visualization, art direction, score and makeup, the execution is solid. The special effects department have done a great job. The only time it is noticeable was the CGI of hybrid Tio's face. The freaky Marceau-Bellucci hybrid is well done. The switch from France to Italy is interesting but it makes sense too. It adds a new dimension to the story. The switch from language is fluidly done and it helps that Bellucci is fluent in Italian and French.

The performances are first rate but it is the two spellbinding lead actresses that walk away with glory. While the beautiful Marceau already has made a name for herself in international cinema, one only has to see the sensational Bellucci's acclaimed non-American films to see what a fine actress she is. 'Ne Te Retourne Pas' is their film as both play the same character with sheer conviction.

This is either the kind of movie one either likes or hates or hasn't formed an opinion of. It isn't everyone's cup of tea but it is one that you will be thinking or talking about long after the end credits have rolled. Personally, I like films that have that kind of effect, positively and while many so-called abstract films do have a pretentious quality to them, in my opinion, thankfully this isn't one of them.
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Sane delusions
p-stepien26 July 2010
Warning: Spoilers
The beautiful Jeanne is a successful biography writer, who is intent on writing an autobiographical novel based on her childhood. A childhood she does not remember due to a car accident in Sicily. Her book is however rejected by her publisher, as a story too focused on countless descriptions, but void of any emotion. Coincidentally Jeanne starts to have troubles with perception - photographs, cameras and mirrors begin to show things that Jeanne remembered totally differently. She stops recognising her house, her husband, her two kids and in the end she no longer knows the person she sees in the mirror...

Unaware of Marina de Van's previous work I picked this movie up due to it's Cannes credentials. Told with some very competent and tight storytelling (although not devoid of slight plot holes or unnecessary scenes added just for eeriness) this French movie never cops out on it's promised delivery. Also instead of your typical American shock twist you are treated with a much more subtle, intelligent and down-to-earth ending, which logically evolves from the beginning to an at least satisfying finale. Although horror fans may be disappointed by the relatively unshocking solution - at times the movie promises to frighten keeping the viewer on the verge of something horrific, but concludes without a single frightening moment. All in all de Van had a story to tell and she did that expertly - emotionally dragging you in and also keeping the tension sharp as a razor throughout the movie.

Both Sophie Marceau and Monica Belucci do an expert job conveying the story and it is self-explanatory why they are widely held as two of the best actresses of their generation in Europe. Both actresses give award-worthy performances, but it'ld be hard to decide which of them should win the prize, as they basically play the same character and you would be forgiven if you forgot that two actresses played the same role. There is almost no way to tell at what exact moment Marceau is exchanged for Belucci.

In this case it is quite evident that they were hired for much more than their looks. Nonetheless both are ravishing in this movie, albeit age looks to be creeping up on Belucci much faster than on Marceau. Fortunately for them their class acting should keep them busy until they are both over 80. Supporting cast is also spot on, although this movie focuses so heavily on Jeanne, that you hardly notice their presence and input.

In the end you may however feel slightly underwhelmed by the movie, which although nicely told does not always feel deserving of a full length feature. Also some of the cinematography seemed detached from the story and the viewer was unable to really notice the changes that occurred in Jeanne's surroundings. Were it not for Jeanne's weird behaviour you would be forgiven for not noticing anything wrong. That said they were some beautifully done sequences where faces of people change around her, but that has more to do with the make-up and special effects crew, than the DOP.
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Wonderful and complex film
mim-824 February 2010
"Ne te retourne pas" was a quite of surprise to me. Psychological drama, with touch of a "Twilight Zone"-type fantasy, moved me in strange directions, and paths the movie so meticulously followed throughout it's course. The story of a parallel reality between the past and the present, told in a narrative style that resembles a dream, focuses the viewer on constant change of pace with twists and turns until the answer is found. Main roles beautifully portrayed by Sophie Marceau and Monica Belluci, two of the most exquisitely beautiful actresses of this day and age, are right on the spot of the story and we follow the plot to satisfying conclusion that gives a perfect explanation to it all. Of course this movie does not appeal to Avatar audiences that expect movies which don't provoke thinking.

This is a first film by Marina de Van that I had a chance to watch, and this young lady is in my humble opinion the future of French and world cinema. Such neatly constructed, no nonsense, cerebral film, which gels as a meticulously structured mosaic is hard to come by these days. Watching it is a fulfilling pleasure. Fantastic!
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I Genuinely Liked this Film
drumax-759-41782821 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
This film started off grabbing my interest right away and kept it for most of the running time. There were a few spots where I felt it began to drag and get slightly tedious but the incredibly interesting and intricate plot created in me a genuine need to know what was going on and kept me watching.

I was not aware these two actresses were so well known across the pond although I am sure I have seen them in other films. They did a wonderful job. All the actors were spot on.

By the end of the movie all is made clear and we are not left in the dark wonder what happened. I did not walk away feeling I was dropped without the ability to make sense of it all but it is deep and deals with heavy issues.

SPOILER FOR THOSE WHO ARE HONESTLY CONFUSED: The main character is having an identity crisis that is manifesting its self in transformations of everything in her life. She realizes that after a traumatic incident in her young life, she has been living her life as if she were another person who died in a tragic accident when she was a little girl. The woman we see in the beginning of the movie is that woman...the woman we see at the end of the movie is her true self. This is a woman working through a life shattering trauma as the truth begins to surface after looking into her past. She is becoming her true self.

The problems with the movie are few and forgivable. I highly recommend it.
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Engaging but Flawed Psychological Thriller
claudio_carvalho16 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
In France, Jeanne (Sophie Marceau) is a writer and researcher of historical events and biographies, married with two children, who is venturing into a novel based on her memories. However, in the opinion of her editor, her narrative is cold and without emotions and she has no recollections before the age of eight, when she had a car accident. She pushes her memories and starts to have visual distortions of her home first and then she does not recognize her husband, children and even her mother. She decides to travel to Italy and along the trip she physically changes to another Jeanne (Monica Bellucci). Once in Italy, she finds her mother and husband and learns the truth about her past.

"Ne te retourne pás" is an engaging but flawed psychological thriller with two of the most beautiful European actresses, Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau. The acting is top-notch and Monica Bellucci makes a perfect transition of characters with her fluent French and Italian. The special effects are also awesome with the merging of Monica Bellucci and Sophie Marceau in one character. However, the story never explains how Rosa Maria could project her adult brother as her husband if she had never seen him again. My vote is six.

Title (Brazil): "Encontro com o Passado" ("Meeting with the Past")
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excellent (something you won't see coming out of Hollywood)
ns-gaga2 May 2011
once in a while you come across something interesting, something worth watching - and this is one of those it's well made, directed, effects and all - so not a typical B-movie from europe, quite on par with the US film industry yet, it's different, very different and story is very very good, intriguing, well made and sucks you right in, if you give it a chance (you have to at least like this type of movies, read the story before starting - btw. I don't think the tag 'psychological thriller' does this movie any good, as it's too 'cliche' - it's not that scary, at times yes, but it's more artistic, psychological in a way that it makes you think more:). all in all, I'd have given it a 10, just that 10 is reserved for those very special few movies, and I'm not sure that this one is quite there, maybe after some watching, and after an array of other bad movies coming out lately... enjoy
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An intriguing movie
kanabuma14 January 2018
Metamorphosis of a woman into someone else. Not only her, but also people surrounding her, including inanimate objects. What an original and unique plot! A gripping plot, without any dull moment! Both Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci have acted excellently, without any flaw. I love fantasy and surreal movies. This is a fine example of how a fantasy movie should be. Even though this movie has been classified under horror genre, there is no horror element in this movie. After watching this movie, I had both feelings of understanding the movie as well as not understanding the movie. It's a unique feeling. I enjoyed every bit of this movie. This movie has been clearly underrated by people who don't understand fantasy/surreal movies. Kudos to the director for making such an extraordinary movie.
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Initially intriguing but ultimately unfulfilling
briggsgarland30 December 2009
Director Marina de Van has been quite inconsistent in both her writing and directing over the years. While flawed, I really enjoyed Dans Ma Peau (In my Skin) and my interest in her was certainly piqued. 8 femmes (8 Women) was fun despite being formulaic but the real draw was the ensemble cast of lovely and talented French women.

When I read about Ne Te Retourne Pas I was very, very excited. It sounded like a return to the darkness of Dans Ma Peau and featured two of my favorite actresses.

I've found most French efforts to emulate Hollywood to be immensely disappointing and this film is walking a fine line between something surreal/arty and something painfully derivative. The atmosphere is pretty creepy, the visual effects/makeup are used in a very interesting fashion and the performances from Marceau and Bellucci are good but this film doesn't really follow through with the promises it makes in the first 20 minutes.

A mediocre film overall and it's really sad to see talent like Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci go to waste.
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Like being Dropped into an Emotional Breakdown
in198422 April 2010
And to not give things away, you're not sure whether there's a psychological thriller or some odd crime-horror thing going on until near the end. Fortunately, it does stay consistent with the story it tells, so the ending isn't illogical or a surprise simply for the sake of surprise.

As is becoming more common recently, you're dropped into the story from the character's point of view with no setup and only minimal context, seeing the world almost completely through her eyes.

It also brings in some interesting facial/body visual FX morphing to help tell the story, so fans of the main actresses get their wish in seeing what they might look like if combined.

There are a few annoying plot inconsistencies and story development limitations, but if you ever wondered what a chick-flick thriller might be like, you now have an answer.
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I really wanted to like this movie, but...
davidtraversa-112 November 2010
I must admit I envy the viewers that raved about this film in their reviews. My intelligence is not that vast. In reality, my intelligence is quite-quite limited, so I can only say that if during the first 15 minutes or so of watching this movie I was enthralled with it, little by little, because of its incredibly twisted story line, I was starting to have so many doubts and questions about the goings on on the screen, that eventually I lost interest in this very confusing dark movie.

Many-many things don't make any sense, for example, Bellucci, all of a sudden develops a very noticeable limping --no explanation for it-- in order to lose it completely for the next scene and thereafter.


What happened?

Was she surgically intervened from an old crippling paralysis while the lights were set for the next scene or was just a shoe too small given to her by an unscrupulous wardrobe mistress?

The change of actresses was done digitally in a very fascinating way, like in "The Legend of the Wolf", but much more subdued.

The intervention of digital effects in straight movies will be, from now on, a fascinating tool to tell stories and also because unexpected in this kind of movies.

Well, the whole thing attempted to be a superb movie, but it fell down on its face with a fatal crush.
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strong start, poor finish
justinrobertorama27 January 2011
Warning: Spoilers

Okay, like a lot of the reviewers on here, this move left me very frustrated and confused by the end. Even if you were to believe the supposed explanation of the plot, there's still huge amounts of events that make absolutely no sense and are never explained.

1. when she sees her young self for the first time, why is her young self hit by a car? (not the near miss, but later in the background)

2. What are the hand signals all about??? They never even attempt to try to explain this!

3. Her sons mole, why in god's name would it move? Even if she was seeing him as her little brother, which I guess is what they were trying to convey? but still, why would the mole move from one place to another?

4. What's with the table? They make this seem so relevant in the beginning and NEVER explain it.

5. Why would she imagine her brother as her husband??

The list goes on and on... This movie was basically a less interesting David Lynch plot line minus the intriguing camera work. It tries to explain itself too little to make it make sense and too much to make it truly weird and Lynch-ian.

Other major flaws:

In the beginning there's not nearly enough detail showed of the apartment to even pick up on what exactly is changing.

The ending when the two women are writing together makes no sense at all. Is she the ghost of the blonde girl or her new self?? Seriously?

No, no matter how you try to explain this movie, it doesn't make sense.
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The end makes you feel something you haven't expected.
monixx39 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
All the reviews seems to concentrate on who is the director... the writer... the actor... Come on... Sure, its very important, but after seeing a movie what really matters is whether you liked it or not... The most important thing is (I think) if it is worth seeing, if it is worth your time... From the very beginning it seems it is... The story is intriguing... It's hard not to wonder what is going on... The main character seems to have some really serious problems with either a split of personality or some serious disease...And sure do not forget it is Sophie Marceau and Monica Belucci who are in the role of the main character, and they, as all could expect, are really superb!

The story seems quite complicated, at times one might think it takes too long to really realize what in fact is going on and who is who... However, it is really intriguing, mysterious and moving... Is it really possible? How can it be possible? Is it better than death? Could I survive that? Those are the questions I have been asking myself... Do you wonder what would you ask? Watch it... it is really worth it...
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don't bother
Factoyd5 January 2012
This movie was painful to watch. It started out with a solid premise (sort of) but then it lost clarity of the plot and muddled and morphed into pure atmospherics before a revelatory (sort of) twist at the end that did not really explain much at the time. The general feeling of suspense was quite effective, but the storyline poor and terribly inconsistent, and at some point the perception settled in that there is no rhyme or logic to this, and it's just inner workings of an insane mind that there is no reason that I should care about. In retrospect, when many incoherences have faded in my memory, the story makes more sense, yet the movie itself failed to effectively deliver its meaning during watching, and the only interest that kept me going was to see if this mess would have any kind of a logical conclusion. I think a mystery of this kind works well if viewers are periodically given cues that allow them to at least entertain some hypotheses in the expectation of the finale. On the contrary, Ne te retourne pas just kept piling incomprehensible visuals betting on the excitement of all puzzle pieces fitting together in the last 10 min. A lost bet with me indeed. What a waste of Monica Belucci and Sofie Marceau!
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I don't get it!
rowiko27 November 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Sophie Marceau is one of my favourite actresses and is probably the only reason I gave this film a rating of 3.

As far as the plot is concerned, I found it far too confusing and complicated to follow. It starts out promising enough when Jeanne starts seeing things that seem odd, and one is left wondering how the story will develop. But when she herself transforms into a completely different woman, that's when I, quite frankly, "lost the plot". I quite simply don't get it.

I do like films where things don't always seem what they are (and French directors are in my view especially good at this), and where the story can be interpreted in different ways ("Anthony Zimmer", also featuring Sophie Marceau, is a prime example and in my eyes actually a masterpiece in the psychological thriller genre). But here, the story seems flawed and over-complicated, with no satisfactory resolution.
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accurate portrayal of hallucinations---soap opera plot
filmalamosa10 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Amnesia repressed memories of childhood returning after 30 years.

First let me thank what ever God spared me from having this movie be a sexual abuse themed plot.

A woman in her 30s starts having psychotic symptoms....she believes the furniture in her house has been moved....she sees impossible things e.g. her husbands hair and eye color change her mother's face changes.

Whoever wrote this script knows a lot about psychosis this part of the movie was very accurate. The portrayal of the psychotic hallucinations however falters because there isn't enough reference to what the actual reality simply don't have enough grounding on how the apartment or people are supposed to look--so confusion is what happens.

Because the nature of psychotic hallucinations is accurate (personal experience) I gave the movie an 8--overall the movie deserves about a 6. The story is too soap opera like and lacks some needed polish. For instance, there must be 500 pictures of the Madonna and child hanging on walls (the visual symbolism is too heavy handed).

The causes of the psychosis and amnesia are a car wreck and the guilt and sorrow of having been "swapped" for another child at the age of 5. In the real world the psychotic delusions and hallucinations would not have fit so neatly into this perfect little puzzle.

Watch this if you want to see what psychotic hallucinations are like--can't think of another movie that does this quite so well. The story and plot are a bit of a let down....switching places at 5 because of a car wreck and being the off spring of an extramarital affair... as I stated is too soap opera like.

In fact just having the woman have a psychotic breakdown without the perfect fit of cause and effect would have been much more believable.

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Falters in almost every way.
lewiskendell18 January 2011
"I don't recognize anything. Not even my own face."

Don't Look Back isn't an easy movie to wrap my thoughts around and review, and unfortunately, it also wasn't very appealing. Despite the irresistible presence of Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci, I found it hard to finish this movie. That's quite an accomplishment, now that I think about it. 

What we have here is an effort to communicate the perspective of a woman whose home, family, and very appearance seem to be (literally and drastically) changing before her eyes. It confuses her, and I can virtually guarantee that it will confuse you, too. Don't Look Back is not a challenging movie (I'm guessing that's the intent with which it was created), it's a nonsensical one. 

There's a definite attempt here to make a psychological thriller in the mold of Polanski's Repulsion mixed with a hefty serving of Lynch-style weirdness and mystery, but it's not grounded in anything substantial, captivatingly surreal, atmospheric, or ultimately human. At best, it's this movie is based on a potentially good idea run horribly amok. At worst, it's an overly long train-wreck with no point that unfortunately squanders two stunning and talented actresses. Aside from one of two interesting sequences, Don't Look Back isn't worth the trouble or the frustration.
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it's unbelievable how terrible this movie is (some spoilers ahead i guess not that it will really affect your enjoyment of the movie since you won't enjoy it at all period)
lemonzest23 June 2011
Warning: Spoilers
i don't review much but i felt the need to align my voice with others on here who think this flick a steaming pile of pig dung. did it suffer from too-many-cooks syndrome where it abounded with too much talent (Marceau, Bellucci, De Van - i mean, it should have been a NO BRAINER) that it all canceled each other out? a lot of its failings would have been eliminated if De Van decided on one definite perspective with respect to all the face changing jazz (I've got similar gripes about black swan but that's another day another post). possibility one: her face isn't changing at all but she thinks she is and that's why we're seeing the changes. this means she's insane or from another planet where faces change. she's treated for her illness or she finally realizes she's an alien and modifies her behavior accordingly (i won't freak out about the kitchen table moving anymore because my family is but poor lowly humans). possibility two: everyone in her life is conspiring against her. in this case, as opposed to possibility one, she will try to get help by telling everyone she runs into something to this effect: help me my face is changing (or whatever), to which they would (and in fact did in the picture) respond by saying something like: oh dear, you must be unwell, everything is just as it's always been. the end of possibility two could have been something like that great movie seconds. the lazy film trope of protagonists coming to grips with the memory they've been suppressing has officially reached "oh lord god make it stop" annoying level, as if it's some kind of artful thing to be vague, confusing and indecisive as filmmakers. i much MUCH preferred Devan's earlier effort Dans Ma Peau where the "fantasy" elements of the protagonist mutilating herself came to a head with her locking herself in a hotel room and slicing dicing and eating herself. the audience knew exactly what was happening and that these weren't figurative images anymore but existed in the reality of the picture. this kind of turd pile makes me hate life.
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hanan mohamed
mariachiguitar_mexico12 April 2012
Warning: Spoilers
A film, also called a movie or motion picture, is a series of still or moving images. It is produced by recording photographic images with cameras, or by creating images using animation techniques or visual effects. The process of filmmaking has developed into an art form and industry. Films are cultural artifacts created by specific cultures, which reflect those cultures, and, in turn, affect them. Film is considered to be an important art form, a source of popular entertainment and a powerful method for educating – or indoctrinating – citizens. The visual elements of cinema give motion pictures a universal power of communication. Some films have become popular worldwide attractions by using dubbing or subtitles that translate the dialogue into the language of the viewer. Films are made up of a series of individual images called frames. When these images are shown rapidly in succession, a viewer has the illusion that motion is occurring. The viewer cannot see the flickering between frames due to an effect known as persistence of vision, whereby the eye retains a visual image for a fraction of a second after the source has been removed. Viewers perceive motion due to a psychological effect called beta movement. The origin of the name "film" comes from the fact that photographic film (also called film stock) has historically been the primary medium for recording and displaying motion pictures. Many other terms exist for an individual motion picture, including picture, picture show, moving picture, photo-play and flick. A common name for film in the United States is movie, while in Europe the term film is preferred. Additional terms for the field in general include the big screen, the silver screen, the cinema and the movies.
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Derivative Plot + Extreme Tedium make this one foreign film that may wear your attention span thin.
Beenjamin_young17 December 2011
First of all this film is what it is in terms of being a slower-paced, somewhat overacted french drama. Some people like this stuff, some definitely do NOT, and others can appreciate it for what it is. I probably fall into the last category and have enjoyed several kind of peculiar foreign films (How Much Do You Love Me? and Irreversible for a couple amazing Belucci performances and things like Dogtooth as well for *very* off-kilter plot and themes) but this one is definitely barely deserving of the 6-star average.

I felt like the whole time it was going to open up and really delve into whatever was being very very painstakingly teased about the first female lead character, Sophie Marceau's Jeanne, but while the acting and somewhat creepy SFX's held my attention for a good quarter of the movie, at about the 45 minute mark I could not stand the fact that so much drama was being expended over so little actual storytelling. Literally you see a mysterious girl (who looks very much like Belucci might have as a much younger girl... that's the only reason many are watching this movie after all --Monica B. that is-- so at least they acknowledge her early), Marceau's character losing and gaining some scars, becoming very frightened, letting her husband try to make her feel better with the male go-to of let's sex, and then her flipping out all over him..repeated a good 3 times before any getting any inkling of where the script is really moving towards. So for a good portion of this movie yeah you're going to have to appreciate the task of trying to keep your eyes off the landscape of France and the female leads long enough to read repetitive dialogue that really does nothing more than remind you you're being conned into watching this movie because of either: a) belucci b) crazy twists!! c) you like french, but aren't actually getting much back for buying into the premise. It wouldn't be so bad if the synopsis and even the poster didn't act like this was some high-octane, fast-burning mystery/thriller because for anyone thinking it's that, it really is just not at all what you're thinking.

I think people who have experienced something very moving in their life that has had longterm implications for them emotionally and psychologically or are just emotionally charged people in general (women especially I'd imagine) you might definitely enjoy the payoff and the exotic atmosphere that does exist in a pretty consistent state throughout. This is a non-spoiler write-up so discussing the plot's conclusion is no good but yeah the ending will definitely be feel-good for many in the way a thoughtful chick-flick or family film can be. But for more critical viewers who think of intriguing and puzzling stories coming from more well-known and reputable wheel-houses like David lynch or the Cohen brothers, this aspect at least of Don't Look Back falls very flat.
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You'll Be On the Edge of Your Seat!
Syl23 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Sophie Marceau and Monica Bellucci acted in this psychological drama about a woman who questions her life and past. The film has several fine moments about how Jeanne wonders about her life and the mysterious woman in her mother's photograph. The film takes us through the streets of Paris, France and to Italy to solve a mystery. It's quite a mystery and great cast to lead the way. Jeanne never seems the same afterwards but at peace with her discovery.
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Surprisingly low rating here
besherat27 June 2018
" Don't look back ", a good psychological drama with elements of horror,but I am surprised that it's the low rating on IMDb. Film is very good and interesting.
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