The Double Hour2011
The Double Hour (2011)
Critic Consensus: Rich in atmosphere and cunningly told, The Double Hour is a pleasurable puzzle that will keep audiences guessing throughout.
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as Hotel deputy director
as Redhead at speed date
as Man at speed date #2
as Jewelry shop-girl
as Man at Speed Date
as Suicide girl
as Man at speed date #4
as Hotel Customer
as Man at speed date #5
as Robber #1
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Critic Reviews for The Double Hour
It keeps you off-balance, constantly assessing and reassessing.
"The Double Hour" is a tremendously entertaining take on film noir, with all the usual elements of the genre in play - crime, death, possibly murder and doomed romance. I think.
A twisty Italian thriller that takes some liberties with its now-you-see-'em/now-you-don't plot points, but no matter; the way director Giuseppe Capotondi keeps us guessing is deliciously, maliciously deft.
A sly, triple twist of a film, this Italian intrigue is almost never what it seems, although everything ends up making perfect sense eventually. Along the way, though, it's slippery stuff.
Audience Reviews for The Double Hour
An intriguing foreign thriller, The Double Hour is a great mystery filled with numerous twists and turns, and although the ending is a little unsatisfying, everything that builds up to it is very suspenseful and will likely keeping guessing up until said ending.
Psychological thriller concerns Sonia, a young and pretty hotel maid who attends a speed dating event eager to meet a boyfriend. She finds one in Guido, an ex-cop-turned-security guard. They begin seeing each other. Then bad stuff happens. The way the mystery unfolds, that is, the design of this suspense puzzle is intriguing. But the specifics cannot really be discussed in much detail without spoiling the fun. Much has been made of the debt the story owes to directors like Hitchcock but this decidedly chilly thriller has much more in common with European art house pictures like "Read My Lips," and "Tell No One" than any Hollywood production. Those modern movies are good so it's definitely a compliment. However, Hitchcock's characters displayed considerably more humanity that this lot. There's an inaccessibility, a distance between them and the viewer, that prevents us from truly getting to know or understand them. Film noir, melodrama, suspense, even horror elements are all expertly crafted into an intricately woven plot that holds our attention until the very last frame. The title refers to those moments when a clock reads double digits, such as 11:11 or, in European time, 23:23. It's at precisely those minutes you are entitled to make a wish. Whether these aspirations come true is open for debate. It's an enigmatic film. One that doesn't always play fair with the audience, but thanks to the two charismatic leads, we really don't care.
★★/★★★★ In movies, as in all storytelling, a mystery is only worth our interest if it involves a juicy question worth answering. That question can be as juvenile as, who killed Mr. Body? Or as metaphysical as, what is the meaning of life? In either case, someone -- maybe Renee Descartes, maybe Scooby Doo -- is eagerly attempting to find the answer and we, the audience, are simply along for the ride. Problems arise when a story devolves into mystery for mystery's sake, and the audience is no longer vicariously following a crusader into the abyss, but kept coldly alone and in the dark, struggling for a reason to care. This is precisely the problem with the Italian romantic-thriller, The Double Hour. It begins promisingly as a tall, pretty maid named Sonia (Kseniya Rappaport) is ushered into a hotel room by its young female inhabitant. As Sonia cleans the bathroom, the young lady, without warning or reason, falls (or leaps? Or is pushed?) from the window and lies dead on a rooftop below. Why? That's a good question, and one worth answering. But The Double Hour jumps ship in a heartbeat and we find Sonia, now, relaying through sleazy creepos at a speed dating get-together. She meets Guido (Filippo Timmi) -- a gruff, unshaven behemoth of smoldering sexuality. He's the only bearable suitor, she's a melancholic sulker with low standards -- so they hit it off. Guido takes her to his country mansion/sound-studio and a gang of masked, gun-toting, burglars shoot Guido and leave Sonia for dead. When she comes to in the hospital, her world has become a haunted, unnatural place. The subsequent Rubik's Cube of a storyline -- involving hallucinations, criminal histories, leering priests and double crosses -- evoked Sherlock Holmes in its intrigue, The Double Life of Veronique in its Euro-art incoherence, Repulsion in its psychosis and even that 2001, B-movie, teen-ghoster Soul Survivors. But The Double Hour isn't a pop mystery like Holmes or even an abstract piece of European identity-loop impressionism like Veronique; it's an oddball hybrid, bleeding the lines of logic and dream, not in a fun, thrifty way, but in an indecisive kind of way. As director Giuseppe Capotondi second guesses himself again and again, his film loses its structure and its control, climaxing just passed the half-way point and leaving the audience in an insufferable 40 minute denouement. The finished film is disjointed and, when twists designed to shift our sympathies instead leave them stranded, we're left wandering the caverns of confusion alone, with no reason to care.
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