When Lithe but troubled ex-model Chloé, (Marine Vacth – Young and Beautiful) begins dating her handsome therapist, Paul (Jérémie Renier – Saint Laurent) she ends up with more than she bargained for. As a matter of fact, she ends up with twice as much (at least) when she discovers Paul’s estranged twin brother Louis — who also happens to be a therapist. But Louis employs very different methods than his gentle and giving brother, and soon Chloé, who is already haunted by a duality living deep within herself — ends up physically and psychologically caught between the two seemingly diametrically opposed brothers. Director François Ozon is no stranger to the inner lives of women, repression and intense gender themes (as explored in films such as 8 Women, Swimming Pool, The New Girlfriend) but in Double Lover he seems to take things up and notch, to nearly David Cronenberg levels (who famously explored the human fear of transformation in such works as The Fly and eXistenZ). Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers in particular comes to mind, as it also features twisted twins who are doctors (anyone who enjoys this film should definitely check that one out). As the title suggest, Double Lover is a fairly sexual film: audiences will bear witness to some powerfully salacious imagery, including some ‘Renier-on-Renier’ action that’s pretty fun. Though it’s not Ozon’s finest work, there’s a lot working in this film. Both leads are strong — with Renier pulling double duty and the mood and visuals are well on point. Yet there’s also something less than fresh about the film overall (although that may depend on how many films in the genre you’ve actually seen). THE WORD: Loosely based on the novel Lives of the Twins by Joyce Carol Oates, Double Lover offers a dreamy, psychosexual dive into the inner self and the dark reflections that live therein. COMING TO: Video on Demand
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Last modified: February 15, 2019