The Double Life of Véronique

The Double Life of Véronique ★★★★

I really wanted to like this more than I actually did, so I'll start with the positives.

The film looks gorgeous, the sound is stunning (dear God, Preisner, did you steal the score from Heaven?), the lighting is moodily atmospheric, the use of color is impeccable, and Irene Jacob is just lovely in every conceivable way. From that list right there, you'd think that this has the making of a masterpiece about it, and it certainly has the prerequisite components.

Then there's the plot. What at times feels sweepingly poetic and tender can at other times feel entirely vacuous. The film has a fascinating setup that teases the viewer a great deal, but until the final minutes of the film, it doesn't do very much with it. Maybe I'm missing the point in all this. Hell, I certainly feel like I am since there are things about the film that I truly love, and I think the notion of exploring a remarkable coincidence like this is quite fascinating, but it doesn't utilize this nearly enough. There are the opening moments of the film, of course, and then there are these wonderful moments along the way (like when she wakes in the middle of the night to her phone and the man on the other ends starts the music that played at her double's death), and then the ending picks things up a bit, but everything between these little moments just feels empty.

Like I said initially, though, the film is sumptuous to look at and heavenly to listen to (I can see why Malick put Preisner's music in The Tree of Life), so I'm still excited to watch The Three Colors Trilogy.

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