François Ozon returns with a randy sexual thriller with some mind-boggling plot kinks in store.
It’s never clear how much François Ozon is in on the campness of his latest movie, an erotic thriller as silly as it is sexy. But if he was going for lurid, trashy mystery, like a Jackie Collins novel co-directed by Brian De Palma and David Cronenberg, then mission accomplished.
Marine Vacth, who showed layers in Ozon’s ‘Young & Beautiful’, steadies a wobbly ship with a subtle (for the surroundings) performance as Chloé, a woman with a strange physical malady, which doctors think is all in her head. Chloé makes great progress with a therapist, Paul (Jérémie Renier), but he abruptly stops their sessions because he’s fallen in love with her. They get together, but she suspects Paul of cheating when she spots him in town with another woman. It is, in fact, his secret twin, the sadistic Louis, also a therapist, if a lot less professional about it than his brother.
It’s all as ludicrous as it sounds, with the trio making unbelievable choices that do make a peculiar sense in this soapy world. It looks gorgeous, in an old-fashioned, 1980s commercial kind of way, like someone might turn to the camera at the end and try to sell you Drakkar Noir. It has the same dramatic heft as an ’80s ad too, but with all the melodrama and casual kink – strap-ons, BDSM, threesomes – on display, it’s certainly never boring.
Cast and crew