French writer / director Marina De Van (“Dark Touch”, “In My Skin”) is the woman behind the 2009 psychological thriller film “Don’t Look Back” that my wife and I have just watched.
Jeanne (Sophie Marceau – “The World Is Not Enough”, “Braveheart”) is a writer. We are introduced to her as she is meeting with her publisher to discuss her latest book – which he hates. The book is autobiographical but Jeanne has no memory of the first eight years of her life, so she is using photographs of her childhood together with her mother’s memories.
At home with her husband Teo (Andrea Di Stefano – “Nine”, “Life Of Pi”) and two children, Jeanne complains that they have moved the dining table and notices other small changes, but Teo denies the changes leading to much frustration for Jeanne.
Soon the changes become more pronounced and obvious to Jeanne. Her husband’s appearance changes completely (now played by Thierry Neuvic – “Hereafter”, “Sherlock Holmes : A Game Of Shadows”) as do their children, and then her own face begins to transform when she looks in the mirror.
Jeanne is portrayed in the second part of the film by Monica Bellucci (“Irreversible”, “The Whistleblower”) as she tries to figure out what is happening to her life. It appears that she is steadily losing her grip on reality and her sanity.
The answers do come at the end of the film and things come together and make sense. Prior to that we found that the film was one big mystery with all kinds of seemingly bizarre twists and turns. So many things, and characters, change that you feel rather lost – just as Jeanne must do throughout her personal journey.
Both Marceau and Bellucci were excellent in this mind-bending movie. With the dialogue in French and Italian, and a less than obvious storyline, this isn’t simple undemanding entertainment. Stick with it, however, and I think you’ll find that it’s actually a pretty good film…