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Disenchanted with the ephemeral glamour of the modelling world, Chloé, a vulnerable Parisian woman of 25, is convinced that the severe and persistent abdominal pains she's been suffering, stem mainly from a psychosomatic disorder. As a result, the reserved beauty will soon find herself on the couch of the charming therapist, Dr Paul Meyer, nevertheless, the mutual and unfailing sexual attraction between them will make it impossible to continue with the therapy. Before long, the ecstatic, yet unexplored lovers will move in together, however, Paul's obscure past will inevitably lead Chloé to the conclusion that there's definitely more to him than meets the eye. Is the doe-eyed woman lured into a world of hallucinations and dream-like sequences?Written by
"L'Amant Double (2017 release from France; US title Double Lover; 115 min.) brings the story of Chloe. As the movie opens, Chloe is discussing unexplained stomach aches with her doctor, who decided to refer Chloe to a psychologist, Paul Meyer. After a number of sessions, Chloe and Paul fall in love and she moves in with Paul. By coincidence, Chloe finds out that Paul has a twin brother, Louis, also a psychologist. Why didn't Paul tell Chloe about his twin brother? What becomes of Paul and Chloe? At this point we are 15 min,. into the movie, but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from well-regarded French director Francois Ozon, who previously brought us "Frantz", "In The House", "Potiche", just to name those (I absolutely loved "In the House"). Here he goes a very different direction, and brings a (semi-erotic) psychological thriller that even has some Hitchcockian elements to it: is everyone really who they appear to be? who is misleading whom? It all should make for a terrific movie. Alas, it isn't to be, and not by a long shot. Due to the plot-heavy nature of this film, I really don't want to say much more . But let me just say that by the end, it was utterly impossible to keep track as to who really was who, and some of the plot twists are nothing short of preposterous. Beware, there is quite a bit of nudity in the film, starting with a very weird opening shot. Belgian actor Jérémie Renier plays the dual roles of the twin brothers, and does the best he can with the material he's given. French actress Marine Vacth, on the other hand, looks utterly lost as Chloe. The legendary Jacqueline Bisset, as the mother, is unrecognizable (I didn't even realize it was her until the end credits rolled).
"L'Amant Double" premiered at last year's Cannes Film Festival (how it made the festival's cut is absolutely beyond me). "Double Lover" recently opened on a single screen for all of Southwest Florida. The Saturday early evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay but not great (about 15 people). I cannot imagine that this will play a long time in the theater. I typically love foreign movies, and knowing Ozon's reputation going in, I was really looking forward to this. While in good conscience I cannot recommend "Double Lover", I of course encourage you to check it out, be it in the theater, on VOD or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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