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The Double Hour Reviews

Page 1 of 7
Mark H

Super Reviewer

June 23, 2011
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.
MovieMaster12
MovieMaster12

Super Reviewer

May 22, 2011
★★/★★★★

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.
Harlequin68
Harlequin68

Super Reviewer

May 8, 2011
In "The Double Hour," Guido(Filippo Timi) is an ex-cop widower who consoles himself with hot meaningless sex and speed dating where he meets Sonia(Ksenia Rappoport), an immigrant maid, and the two hit it off. So much so, that this is the first time that Margherita(Antonia Truppo), Sonia's co-worker, can remember her smiling. And just as things are getting interesting at a chateau where Guido works as a security guard, things go sideways, then diagonally, and finally it's all squiggly lines.

Let me explain. You may think you know everything as you're watching "The Double Hour" but then you'd be wrong. The movie uses its deliberate pace to lure the viewer into a false sense of security in order to subvert expectations. It was certainly not the movie I was expecting but there's nothing wrong with that. It's kind of the same way with people we first meet in that we never what to expect but certainly have our share of preconceived notions. That sort of thinking might keep you from meeting the love of your life but then forcing yourself into a relationship can be an even greater mistake. Look at Marisa(Lucia Poli) and her fake smile as she arranges the speed dates and Margherita's diastrous love life. So, it's sad that the only relationship with any chance in the movie runs head first into reality at the first opportunity.
Joey S

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2013
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.
PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

June 16, 2012
This Italian thriller directed by Guiseppe Capotondi is, for sure, something which will surprise you after pressing play button. An unpredictable hour and a half of a continuous story reshuffling like a narrative deck of cards dealing always a new hand which will widen your eyes even more than the previous one... I don't think that anyone would remember the ending just a day after watching it, but the twists and turns in this exceptionally acted movie will make the journey to be remembered, not the destination... for a long time! At times you could feel frustrated that there are so many times a film proves you were wrong, and some viewers could treat it as fundamentally untrustworthy, but I enjoyed it.

Kseniya Rappoport as Sonia was particularly striking in this story which started out as an interesting drama with a little bit of romance but soon turned into a mystery psychological thriller! If you developed a taste for ingenious movies and you like an unpredictable plot, unexpected twists, great characters, unique location, great performances - try this one!
Tom S

Super Reviewer

April 8, 2012
I kind of want to recut this into a good movie.
CitizenCharlie
June 21, 2011
The Double Hour feels hollow. There are elements involved which if properly connected, could lead to a well constructed film, but they aren't. I do not want to give too much of the plot away because a certain level of secrecy is necessary to enjoy it instead of waiting for pre-planned twists. After seeing this film, I read the reviews of particular critics and most of them kept the secrets, that is, except for Stephen Holden of the New York Times. If you read his review before seeing The Double Hour, there would be absolutely no need to sit through it because he gives the entire thing away; the jig is up.

Sonia is a hotel chambermaid in Turin, Italy. She is routinely morose, most likely from something in her past and the fact that she is strikingly lonely. To help her find a friend or more, she tries speed dating and is strikes up a friendship with Guido, an ex-cop who is still trying to define his widower status three years after the fact. Sonia and Guido take baby steps towards the semblance of a relationship until their lives are drastically altered during a robbery. This is where my plot description stops. Revealing too much of a film noir thriller does nothing for the eventual audience except take away their guessing games during the film.

The couple's relationship and their back and forth interactions are surprisingly effective. Both actors playing Sonia and Guido received best acting honors at the Venice Film Festival, but the somewhat non-congruous film and choppy supernatural elements do not match their acting standard. The director and screenwriters show a lot of future promise, but the Double Hour just misses the mark. To explain the title, a double hour is particular time of day when the clock matches, such as 12:12. It is said that wishes sometime come true at a double hour.
MovieQueen79
June 7, 2011
This has to be a mindfuck movie. I don't like movies like that. I was really trying to like this movie however it left me very confused. You can't tell what's real or not. Sonia's character is likeable but that's about it. I enjoyed the sex scenes lol. But yeah as for plot goes-way too much guessing. This foreign film did not pass my test. If ya like mindfuck movies this is for you. If not please see something else. Ciao.
Mike N.
March 5, 2014
It was a good movie,definitely worth seeing
April 15, 2011
Good thriller, whose twists rely more on psychology than on easy overturns
October 22, 2013
I didn't like any of the characters and don't care about the meaningless trick ending. Any time a coma or a dream are used the "twist" is cheap. There is no character development and when the bad guys get away it is fulfilling.
June 30, 2013
THE DOUBLE HOUR is a truly terrific suspense film. Always intriguing and full of surprises. The film captivates at every turn as it twists through a number of different genres. At the midway point, the most exciting part of the film, I suddenly felt like I was watching a 70s giallo from a master like Mario Bava. It all settles a bit too much after this high point but still a wonderful mystery that is truly captivating. Kseniya Rappoport is a total revelation in the central role and she makes the film work for she's our guide in a journey we don't understand and we think she doesn't as well. How much she knows and doesn't, and who is she really is the true mystery of the ripping yarn from Italy.
zafmonkey
January 14, 2013
The Double Hour is probably better than my experience with it was, but a limited attention span in the height of its distraction made it hard for me to watch the film continually through. Aside from my struggling focus, this Italian film had plenty of intriguing twists that also showed some restraint from being over the top distracting shockers.
Joey S

Super Reviewer

January 2, 2013
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.
September 23, 2012
The parts of the movie which are supposed to amaze me they didn't. The twists and suspense didn't come out well but the cinematography of the scenes and playing with the lights I liked.
September 15, 2012
Kept me interested as the story unraveled, although it ultimately proved to be a twisted procedural. And sometimes a foreign language film earns some extra points just for being a foreign language film!
August 26, 2012
Slowly developing, but gripping, suspenseful and very clever Italian thriller.
July 13, 2011
I've been waiting for a year for this to come out on DVD. It wasn't quite what I expected - but there were aspects to it that were interesting. In some ways, it's more successful as an ambiguous love story than as a film noir thriller. I particularly liked the dream sequence -- in hindsight, I thought it was one of the most interesting, compelling dream sequences I can remember seeing on film. I'm not 100% sure how I felt about the acting (the woman kind of reminded me of a befuddled Kristin Scott Thomas with a bad haircut), though both leads definitely had an engrossing presence. The end kind of left me feeling a bit let down (emotionally) at the time, though again, in hindsight, it perhaps makes some sense. I sort of feel like there were aspects to this movie that were more intriguing than the overall sum of its parts. I read that this was the director's first film, which makes sense - he clearly tried very hard. I think he has potential, and applaud him for taking some risks and thinking a bit outside the box.
PantaOz
PantaOz

Super Reviewer

June 16, 2012
This Italian thriller directed by Guiseppe Capotondi is, for sure, something which will surprise you after pressing play button. An unpredictable hour and a half of a continuous story reshuffling like a narrative deck of cards dealing always a new hand which will widen your eyes even more than the previous one... I don't think that anyone would remember the ending just a day after watching it, but the twists and turns in this exceptionally acted movie will make the journey to be remembered, not the destination... for a long time! At times you could feel frustrated that there are so many times a film proves you were wrong, and some viewers could treat it as fundamentally untrustworthy, but I enjoyed it.

Kseniya Rappoport as Sonia was particularly striking in this story which started out as an interesting drama with a little bit of romance but soon turned into a mystery psychological thriller! If you developed a taste for ingenious movies and you like an unpredictable plot, unexpected twists, great characters, unique location, great performances - try this one!
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