There's only one place to start this review; with the opening shot. It's a close-up of a gynaecology examination so revealing it takes a moment to confirm what your eyes are seeing, which then morphs into a human eye.

It's cheeky, cheesy and beautifully shot - and gives you an idea of what to expect from this exploitative psychological thriller.

As you'd expect from French director Francois Ozon, Double Lover is an exceptionally well crafted film filled with attention to detail; every scene setting, camera angle and movement is deliberate. Hitchcock never feels far away.

The same can be said of the performances. Marine Vacth commits as Chloe Fortin, an intense woman in her mid-20s with mother issues, an inability to love, and stomach pains. When medical doctors fail to diagnose her stomach issue, she turns to psychiatrist Paul Meyer (Jeremie Renier) for a cure. Before long she's feeling much better and they begin a personal relationship.


The relationship hits a snag when Chloe discovers Paul, who claims to be an only child, has a brother, Louis (Renier again). Louis is also a psychoanalyst and, when Chloe seeks him out looking for answers he offers to cure her frigidity in his tasteful, large bedroom, conveniently located next to his practice room.

From here, ridiculous plot twists and turns will have you questioning the sanity of it all, although if you listen carefully none are truly surprising.

While the opening shot is one of the year's most memorable, the same can't be said of the film as a whole. You've got to admire Ozon for presenting a frivolous film with such a serious approach, but it's easy to miss that he's in on the joke. Double Lover should be viewed with a smirk.

If the thought of David Cronenberg directing 50 Shades of Grey sounds interesting, then this may appeal.


Marine Vacth, Jérémie Renier


François Ozon


Running time:

107 minutes


R18 (Violence, sexual violence, sex scenes & content that may disturb)


Shocking one minute – forgettable the next.