L’amant Dou­ble

Dir: François Ozon 1hr 48mins (18) Silly but sexy erotic thriller

The Week - - Arts | Film -

It’s never clear how much François Ozon is “in on the camp­ness” of his lat­est movie, said Olly Richards in Time Out. But if the aim was to make an erotic thriller “as silly as it is sexy”, then “mis­sion ac­com­plished”. L’amant Dou­ble fea­tures a “sub­tle” per­for­mance from Ma­rine Vacth as a trou­bled woman named Chloé who em­barks on an af­fair with her kindly psy­chother­a­pist, Paul (Jérémie Re­nier). Later she learns he has an iden­ti­cal twin brother, Louis (also Re­nier), a ri­val psy­chother­a­pist whose un­ortho­dox meth­ods in­volve a star­tling amount of S&M. She has an af­fair with him, too. But when is she with Paul and when is she with Louis? It’s all “shiv­er­ingly sexy”, said Rob­bie Collin in The Daily Tele­graph, and its tongue “is stuck ev­ery­where, in­clud­ing in its cheek”. Yet Ozon does tend to go over­board with the Hitch­cock­ian flour­ishes, said Nigel Andrews in the FT – there’s a sur­feit of mir­rors and too many eye-shaped vis­ual sym­bols (e.g. a spi­ral stair­case, viewed from above). This “wildly dated-look­ing and de­riv­a­tive” French-lan­guage thriller felt to me like an ex­tended per­fume ad – “Pervi­tude, by Chanel” per­haps, said Peter Brad­shaw in The Guardian. But its ab­sur­di­ties not­with­stand­ing, it’s un­de­ni­ably erotic. It may yet achieve “camp clas­sic sta­tus”.

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