By Don Simpson | April 3, 2012
Director: Giuseppe Capotondi
Writers: Alessandro Fabbri, Ludovica Rampoldi, Stefano Sardo
Starring: Ksenia Rappoport, Filippo Timi, Antonia Truppo, Gaetano Bruno, Fausto Russo Alesi, Michele Di Mauro, Lorenzo Gioielli, Lucia Poli
Set in Turin, the narrative of Giuseppe Capotondi’s The Double Hour features twists and turns aplenty. Since nothing is what it seems, it is nearly impossible to synopsize the plot without spoiling anything — so I will just focus on the basics (which may or may not be true).
We first meet Sonia (Ksenia Rappoport) in a city hotel where she works as a chambermaid. A Slovenian immigrant, Sonia is visibly unhappy; she is suddenly shaken to the core when she witnesses a hotel guest’s suicide. Soon after the suicide, Sonia attends a speed-dating event where she meets an ex-cop named Guido (Filippo Timi). Sonia and Guido both have skeletons in their closets, so they seem to approach their relationship with much trepidation. Eventually Guido invites Sonia to a posh mansion in the country, where he works as a security guard. And then…
From the mansion scene onward, we are catapulted into an incredibly complex web of deceit. Memories and dreams are riddled by guilt; truth is blurred beyond recognition. As it turns out, we spend a majority of the film in Sonia’s mind, as she works her way through the puzzling story that is unfolding before her very eyes. The concept of the double hour (10:10, 11:11, 12:12, etc.) serves as a lifeline of sorts for Sonia, as does The Cure’s “In Between Days”.
Though several of the plot turns seem way too contrived for the film’s own good, The Double Hour does a clever job of laying out clues for the audience to piece together. The clues, however, are often times red herrings and do not always fit together in a logical manner; and The Double Hour continues to fall back on its excuse “nothing is what it seems” all too frequently. In other words, if you ever expect to fully understand The Double Hour, you will be eternally frustrated. The Double Hour is much more enjoyable if you just sit back and enjoy the ride…
Winner of the Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Italian Film awards at the Venice International Film Festival, The Double Hour is now available on DVD in the United States courtesy of New Video.