The Other One: The magical number two
by Boyd van Hoeij
After Barbet Schroeder’s Inju [+see also:
film profile], the second French film in competition at the Venice Film Festival is appropriately titled The Other One [+see also:
film profile]. The film is also the second feature for the cinema by directors Patrick Mario Bernard and Pierre Trividic after Dancing.
French actress Dominique Blanc, winner of four Césars, plays the middle-aged Anne-Marie, a woman who finds the idea of a steady relationship very scary after having divorced her husband of 18 years. She leaves her handsome, younger boyfriend Alex (Cyril Gueï, Brice de Nice) because she cannot stand the idea he might like to marry her one day. She even taunts him to find someone else.
But when Alex gets a new girlfriend, it triggers Anne-Marie’s psychosis. She becomes insanely jealous and obsessed with the other woman, who remains unseen for the entire film. Anne Marie’s paranoia leads her through the looking glass and into a gruesome fantasy world where she substitutes for her rival – with bloody results.
Like in the Dutch-language Belgian feature Nowhere Man [+see also:
film profile], which is part of the Venice Days section, The Other One frequently tips over into a realm that is part of one of the characters’ minds to explore their complicated emotions. The story is based on a novel by Annie Ernaux, and Bernard and Trividic use widescreen photography and sound design to cinematically heighten the sense of unease that pervades the story.
The Other One was produced by Patrick Sobelman for Ex Nihilo, with backing from Canal +, Ciné Cinéma, the Ile-de-France region and the CNC. Ad Vitam will release the film in France, while Films Distribution handles international sales.
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