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