François Ozon provokes identity crisis with L’Amant Double

Film still of L'Amant double (Amant Double) © RR

French director François Ozon's third In Competition film combines psychological and sexual tension in his new feature film L’Amant Double, following hot in the footsteps of Cannes crowd-pleaser Swimming Pool in 2003, and Jeune et Jolie (Young & Beautiful) in 2013.

In his eighth feature film, François Ozon tackles the theme of dual identity, a leitmotif he first embraced in Une Nouvelle Amie (The New Girlfriend, 2014), examining the concept of fantasy and how well we can ever really know another person, through characters who embark on a series of erotic games with a psychoanalytical twist. L’Amant Double follows Chloé, a fragile young woman who begins therapy and falls in love with her therapist, Paul. A few months into their relationship they move in together, but their idyll is soon shattered by the realisation that Paul is hiding a part of his identity.

François Ozon chose actors he knows well to embody his protagonists. He selected Marine Vacth to play Chloé, four years after having ushered the starlet into the public eye in Jeune et Jolie (Young & Beautiful), in which she played a teenager-turned-escort and was nominated for a César for Best Female Newcomer. Jérémie Renier plays her psychotherapist and disturbed lover, marking his third collaboration with the director after Les Amants Criminels (Criminal Lovers) and Potiche. A star-studded cast worthy of a director who has already worked with a stable of fantastic names, including Pierre Niney and Paula Beer in Frantz most recently.

L’Amant Double also marks François Ozon's return to his erotic thriller tendencies, a genre he made his debut with in Une Robe d’été (A Summer Dress, 1996), going on to colour subsequent feature films Les Amants Criminels (Criminal Lovers) in 1999, Swimming Pool in 2003, and Jeune et Jolie (Young & Beautiful) in 2013.