Double Lover (2018; François Ozon)
By Daniel Barnes
Hard-working genre chameleon François Ozon follows up his bland, black-and-white historical drama Frantz with this juicy erotic thriller. Double Lover concerns a slightly unstable woman whose relationship with her ex-analyst grows even more complicated when she starts sleeping with his sadistic twin brother.
Sporting that Binoche-in-Damage pixie cut that practically screams “illicit sexual awakening,” Young and Beautiful star Marine Vacth does more “brave” work here. She plays Chloé, a woman simultaneously drawn to and repelled by the increasingly unhinged sexual violence of her boyfriend’s twin.
A romantic nightmare cheekily scheduled for Valentine’s Day release, Double Lover returns Ozon to the faux-Hitchcock territory of Swimming Pool. Of course, he brings his trademark dollop of bratty transgression. For example, instead of a swirling shower drain dissolving into a woman’s eye, we get a speculum-spread vagina.
If Double Lover had even one-eighth of the cinematic zest of one of Brian De Palma’s Hitchcock knockoffs, this might have been more than a perverse diversion.
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