Don’t Look Back

Despite handsome, saturated lensing, the pic is floored by clunky dialogue, uninteresting characters and borderline ludicrous drama.

With:
With: Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci, Andrea Di Stefano, Thierry Neuvic, Brigitte Catillon, Sylvie Granotier, Augusto Zucchi, Giovanni Franzoni, Vittoria Meneganti, Francesca Melucci, Didier Flamand, Serena d'Amato, Adrien de Van.

After her decidedly weird but undeniably jolting drama of female self-mutilation, “In My Skin” (2002), French actress-helmer Marina de Van goes mainstream with two big stars (Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci) in wannabe psychodrama “Don’t Look Back.” Despite handsome, saturated lensing by Dominique Colin, this tale of a woman who finds her body being taken over by another is floored by clunky dialogue, uninteresting characters and borderline ludicrous drama. Any initial curiosity should wane rapidly on French release June 3.

Biographer-turned-novelist Jeanne (Marceau), with two kids and a loving husband (Andrea Di Stefano), inexplicably starts getting panic attacks and memory losses. Though no one else seems to notice, including her actress mom (Brigitte Catillon), she finally morphs into a dark-haired Italianate woman (Bellucci), with a different husband (Thierry Neuvic) and mother (Sylvie Granotier), and sets out to her birth town of Lecce, Italy, to solve the riddle. Marceau is mostly called upon to act stressed or uncomprehending, while Bellucci looks elegant and mystified. Pic generates most of its tension in the early stages, becoming progressively more supine thereafter. Still, the face-morphing sequences are smoothly executed by effects supervisor Krao.

Don't Look Back

France-Luxembourg-Belgium

Production: A Wild Bunch Distribution release (in France) of an Ex Nihilo presentation of an Ex Nihilo, Wild Bunch (France)/Samsa Film (Luxembourg)/Entre Chien & Loup, Ateliers De Baere, RTBF (Belgium)/Studiourania (Italy) production. (International sales: Wild Bunch, Paris.) Produced by Patrick Sobelman. Co-producers, Jani Thiltges, Diana Elbaum, Conchita Airoldi. Directed by Marina de Van. Screenplay, de Van, Jacques Akchoti; original idea, de Van.

Crew: Camera (color), Dominique Colin; editor, Mike Fromentin; music, Luc Rollinger; art director, Veronique Sacrez. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (Midnight Screenings), May 15, 2009. Original title: Ne te retourne pas. French, Italian dialogue. Running time: 110 MIN.

With: With: Sophie Marceau, Monica Bellucci, Andrea Di Stefano, Thierry Neuvic, Brigitte Catillon, Sylvie Granotier, Augusto Zucchi, Giovanni Franzoni, Vittoria Meneganti, Francesca Melucci, Didier Flamand, Serena d'Amato, Adrien de Van.

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