DON'T LOOK BACK
Reviewed by: Zombie Boy
Marina de Van
Andrea Di Stefano
What's it about
A woman writing a book about her childhood unlocks a secret that literally changes everything in her life...including her own face.
Is it good movie?
Jeanne is a middle-aged French woman attempting to write a serious fiction novel, which she hopes will help her recover the first eight years of her life, lost to an accident she also cannot remember. As most of us do, she soon finds that the past is better left alone when strange things begin happening. First her apartment begins rearranging itself, then adopts new furniture, then her husband and children take on different appearances, ultimately culminating in her own visage morphing and twisting into someone she no longer recognizes. A photograph in her motherís apartment leads Jeanne on a quest to Italy where she finds out the shocking truth about who she really is.
Though the movie is well-shot and well-acted, I was having a hard time accepting it at first. The story was served up a little too expositively, and once the changes began happening the audience is apparently supposed to recognize subtle changes in furniture and be blown away by it. And then later on Sophie Marceau, as Jeanne, walks around with two halves of different faces plastered to her head. Talk about one extreme to the other. And up until the final 30 minutes, the whole thing just sort of plodded along. Yes, things are changing. Gotcha. More things are changing. Freaky. Even more things are changing. Jesus, we get it.
But then the final act came along, and basically redeemed the movie. First off, Monica Bellucci finally entered the film, and regardless of anything else, the woman is impossibly beautiful and makes even a piece of dog crap worth watching. The action also shifts to Italy, and between that wonderful scenery, and Bellucci, and the most impressive special effects of the whole film, I was more open to receiving the slightly logic-defying conclusion served up to me. And the very end manages the neat trick of being happy, yet ending on what may or may not have been intended to be a highly disturbing visual.
QUICK EDITORIAL: Sophie Marceau has been a Bond girl, and also co-starred against David Spade in one of his asinine comedies. Talk about having two faces!
Video / Audio
Video: No stats, since this is a screener, but the image is clear and all youíll be looking at is Bellucci anyway.
Audio: Again, no stats. French language track with English subtitles. I had no problems with the sound.
Youíll have to decide for yourself whether a slow to start film is worth sitting through for a decent ending, but I think ultimately the eye candy of Marceau and Bellucci are worth it, as well as some of the arresting visuals (but what else would you expect from Marina De Van, the woman who brought us In My Skin?). The logic flaws and dropped plot points are a problem, though, so Iíll go with half-marks on this one, with a tentative recommendation to watch it with those caveats.