Thank goodness Brian called me and told me that “La Doppia Ora” – The Double Hour – was playing at The Lincoln Plaza Theaters. I’m in New York visiting Lauren so I quick got online and bought a ticket and then I scooted up there for the 1:45 show.
New York’s Lincoln Plaza Theater is great – it shows all the foreign movies that we never get to see in Hudson, Ohio, but it is not your usual theater experience. The guy who manages it treats the patrons as if we were children who have not behaved in the past and have lost all of our privileges (this might not be far from the truth). He was very firm (but fair) with everyone who wanted to get in line before their movie was being called, shouting, “I told you “no”! You must sit down and wait!” when people tried to enter the theaters precipitously. Obviously he’s been there awhile and has seen how things go when he doesn’t take charge.
When it was my turn to get in line I thought I’d spark up a conversation with ladies around me who, I supposed, must have loved Italian movies as did I. I asked them if they’d planned to see “La Prima Cosa Bella” at the Angelika Film Center and they looked at me like I’d just asked them if they wanted to get high. “That’s downtown”, one of them said like that explained everything.
Actually it did, but I wanted to hear them say it so I gave them my best, “whatever do you mean?” expression and they told me, “We don’t go downtown.” Even though it was clear that they weren’t interested in chatting about Italian movies I kept going and told them I was excited because I couldn’t watch these kind of movies in theaters in Ohio and at this point they all looked very alarmed and one of them said, “You don’t have movie theaters where you live?”. I almost told them that we didn’t – that we all had to travel to Columbus to see a movie. I should have, because hearing that I meant italian movies and not all movies disappointed them a little. For a minute they thought they’d encountered an honest to goodness Ohio hillbilly.
I know – I’m rambling.
La Doppia Ora is one of the best movies I’ve seen in a long time. It has something that not many modern Italian movies have – a fear factor! There were a few things that made me jump right out of my seat, and I found myself covering my eyes. And it was done in the best kind of way; the threat was hidden in the shadows, waiting to jump out and say “boo” at any given moment.
It stars someone I’ve just recently written about, Kseniya Rappoport from “La Sconosciuta”. In this movie, as in that one, she plays a kind of “unknown woman”, one that has secrets. Her character, Sonia, meets Guido (Filippo Timi from “Vincere” and “The American”) speed dating and at first they appear to be a couple of poor damaged souls that gets lucky at another chance at love. It doesn’t take long to realize that in this movie, appearances are always deceiving.
“The Girl By The Lake” is billed as a thriller, but I’d like to say to the filmmakers who made that movie and to all Italian movie makers – THIS movie, La Doppia Ora, THIS is what you call a thriller. It has all the mayhem, menace, and edge of your seat suspense that a good thriller should have. I know that I want to see it again – it’s just one of those movies that you know you missed clues the first time and need to go back and see what they are.
I don’t want to give away too much but the focus, which is on Sonia, becomes blurred between dream and reality, and I may never be sure of her no matter how many times I see it.
If you are in the New York are – see it! And I’ll keep my eye out for showings in other parts of the country.
Director: Giuseppe Capotondi
Writers: Alessandro Fabbri, Ludovica Rampoldi
Stars: Kseniya Rappoport, Filippo Timi and Antonia Truppo