Guido (Filippo Timi), a former cop, is a luckless veteran of the speed-dating scene in Turin. But, much to his surprise, he meets Slovenian immigrant Sonia (Ksenia Rappoport), a chambermaid at a high-end hotel. The two hit it off, and a passionate romance develops. After they leave the city for a romantic getaway in the country, things suddenly take a dark turn. As Sonia's murky past resurfaces, her reality starts to crumble. Everything in her life begins to change - - questions arise and answers only arrive through a continuous twist and turn of events keeping viewers on edge until the film's final moments. THE DOUBLE HOUR, winner of Best Actress at the 2009 Venice International Film Festival, is directed by Giuseppe Capotondi.Written by
The Double Hour feels hollow. There are elements involved which if properly connected, could lead to a well constructed film, but they aren't. I do not want to give too much of the plot away because a certain level of secrecy is necessary to enjoy it instead of waiting for pre-planned twists. After seeing this film, I read the reviews of particular critics and most of them kept the secrets, that is, except for Stephen Holden of the New York Times. If you read his review before seeing The Double Hour, there would be absolutely no need to sit through it because he gives the entire thing away; the jig is up.
Sonia is a hotel chambermaid in Turin, Italy. She is routinely morose, most likely from something in her past and the fact that she is strikingly lonely. To help her find a friend or more, she tries speed dating and is strikes up a friendship with Guido, an ex-cop who is still trying to define his widower status three years after the fact. Sonia and Guido take baby steps towards the semblance of a relationship until their lives are drastically altered during a robbery. This is where my plot description stops. Revealing too much of a film noir thriller does nothing for the eventual audience except take away their guessing games during the film.
The couple's relationship and their back and forth interactions are surprisingly effective. Both actors playing Sonia and Guido received best acting honors at the Venice Film Festival, but the somewhat non-congruous film and choppy supernatural elements do not match their acting standard. The director and screenwriters show a lot of future promise, but the Double Hour just misses the mark. To explain the title, a double hour is particular time of day when the clock matches, such as 12:12. It is said that wishes sometime come true at a double hour.
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