French films review - July 2018

A critical eye on the latest French ciné releases - this month "L'amant double" and "Custody"

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L’Amant Double; Dir: François Ozon; 110 mins

Such is his mastery of the film director’s art that Ozon has effortlessly waltzed around genres throughout his career. From musical comedy (8 Women) to Hitchcockian thriller (Frantz) and slapstick (Potiche), his touch is measured no matter what the subject or style.

L’Amant Double is another typically assured outing, this time an erotic psycho-thriller starring Marine Vacth, who last worked with Ozon in Young and Beautiful (2013). Here, she plays Chloé, a 25-year-old woman receiving psychological counselling for an undiagnosed stomach complaint.

As she reveals her inner most thoughts, she and her therapist (Jérémie Renier) fall for each other. The twist comes when she sees another therapist outside another building – it seems her own therapist has a twin or a doppelgänger (Renier excels in his dual role).

Naturally, Chloé begins an affair with the second shrink too, even though he has a nasty side to him, and this is where the real trouble begins.

Stylish, well acted and tense, a little lacking in plausibility (though this can easily be overlooked), this is a super thriller for a Saturday night in.

Also out:


The observational style of filming lends gritty realism to Xavier Legrand’s devastating debut feature about an abusive marriage and bitter child custody battle.