The Double Hour (La Doppia Ora)

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Remo D
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The Double Hour (La Doppia Ora)

Post by Remo D » Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:14 pm

Unfortunately, this isn't the sort of review I enjoy writing.

I was lured to the local arthouse on the promise of an Italian thriller that was going to keep me guessing all the way. Critics walked on eggshells to avoid giving details away--they just warned (along with the poster) that nothing was as it seemed...

...and, well, fair enough--spoilers do the movie no good. So here's the setup: nervous chambermaid (Ksenia Rappoport) meets lonely security guard (Filippo Timi) at a speed-dating event. They eventually consent to a romantic tryst at the estate of the latter's wealthy (and frequently absent) employer. But that's when the art thieves interrupt. So how does one account for the things that take place from that point on?

Rappoport and Timi both won film festival acting awards (this is a 2009 film only released here now)--and yes, they're both terrific. There are some good, suspenseful sequences (one in a bathtub is particularly well-handled and disorienting), but this is far more a character study than it is a true "thriller." Now, as a character drama, this is quite good, but as far as thrills and surprises went, I thought the trump card was revealed too quickly, and I waited in vain for the rug to be truly pulled out from under me again. Bathtub, yes. DIABOLIQUE, no.

I guess I was hoping for something more along the lines of READ MY LIPS or TELL NO ONE (not even I was anticipating DEEP RED or TENEBRAE, despite the country of origin). Ironically, the sheer overhype of (and endless, redundant trailers for) MIDNIGHT IN PARIS and THE TREE OF LIFE caused me to avoid both of those screens and stick up for this little underdog that sounded like it had a little more bite to it--but I wound up learning about a bunch of character's romantic frustrations and personal regrets more than I was allowed to get caught up in whatever diabolical plot may or may not have been taking place.

So, okay. "Good movie." But bad choice for me.


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