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(Review originally written at 8 January 2007)

I watched this movie without really knowing what to expect. The previews were rather vaguely on what the story was about and what the movie its overall style was. I'll admit that the only reason that made me see this movie were the two actors Michael Pitt and Eva Green, who are two great young new rising stars.

What I got to eventually see did not disappointed me. It's a greatly told and intriguing original story about three young film buffs, of which two are twins, in Paris who are drawn toward each other and start to develop an unusual relationship, of which the love for cinema forms the basis. The undertone of the movie is sensual and erotic. Often the images themselves say more than a thousand words. The story is told with mixed old movie classic footage, that the three of them try to impersonate. They breath, eat and think movies. Yes, the movie sounds definitely 'art house' like and it also is an art house movie but its way more accessible than I make it sound.

Guess you still have to be a movie lover your self to appreciate the movie and its story and all of its art but then again I don't think that any 'normal' 'regular' movie watchers would decide to watch this movie in the first place. At least I can't think of any reason why. In essence it's a movie about movie lovers for movie lovers.

The movie is beautifully directed and it chooses to tell its story really from the view point of the three main characters. It provides us a view in their lifestyle and helps us to understand them, without ever really literally explaining anything. Like I said before, often the images themselves say more than a thousand words. The style of directing gives the actors a lot of room and opportunity to shine. That also happens in this movie, for Michael Pitt, Eva Green, Louis Garrel all deliver a very powerful and heavy performance, plus the three of them work great and very naturally together, especially in the nude sequences.

Yes, the movie is filled with lots of explicit nudity from the three main actors and I'm not just talking about a couple of chest shots. So be aware of that before watching this movie, if you know you can't handle it or feel uncomfortable with it. Big kudos to the three main actors for having the guts to appear in the movie that way. You want see anything like this in an Hollywood movie, I can assure you that. But the nudity in the movie also serves a purpose and it's used as a tool to tell the story with and show the bonding and relationship the three of them start to develop over the days.

There are times that the movie goes a bit too over-the-top. After all, it remains an independent art house movie. It doesn't make all of the sequences work out as effective or understandable. Some moments make a redundant impression and other moments are not developed well enough, such as the homo-erotic references about the growing relationship between the two male main characters. I think it's a missed opportunity that this wasn't developed any further in the movie. It remains shallow and only features some vague references. It could had provided the movie and its main plot with some intriguing and original sensual layers.

Visually the movie is great and it knows how to capture the mood and atmosphere of '60's Paris. The sets are nice and the cinematography effective.

It's not really a that relevant or thought provoking movie to watch, so by no means its an essential viewing in my opinion but when you do decide to watch it, you most certainly will not be disappointed. The movie is definitely original and movie buffs will surely know to appreciate it.

8/10

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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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