There was a time when erotic thrillers were big business in Hollywood. For almost two decades, during the 1980s and 1990s, there was a raft of these types of films. Whilst they were mostly dreadful and all too often descended into soft porn, there were also some outstanding exceptions. The likes of Fatal Attraction, Body Double and Basic Instinct are all magnificent works of cinema. François Ozon, with his new film L’Amant Double, may just have added to this list.
Chloé (Marine Vacth) is a delicate and damaged young model who is advised by a doctor that her recurrent stomach pains are psychosomatic. She starts seeing a shrink, Paul Meyer (Jérémie Renier), who is determined to cure her. However, he falls for her, they end the sessions and begin a relationship. However, Chloé starts to believe that Paul’s not being entirely honest with her and decides to see another therapist. Who just happens to be his twin brother.
L’Amant Double is a perfectly paced mystery thriller which is trashy, cheesy and impeccably judged in equal measures. With echoes of Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers, Ozon has pieced together a compelling and highly entertaining puzzle piece which is lavishly stylish and expertly stays the right side of silly. Under a cheap façade hides some great inventiveness and clever touches. L’Amant Double is a gloriously undiluted and exquisitely sleazy slice of cinema.
L’Amant Double is out in cinemas from 1 June.