The Double Hour (6/10)
by Tony Medley
Run time 93 minutes.
Not for children.
This is a nice mystery with a
Hitchcockian, Dallas-type, twist, but almost terminally slow.
Sonia (Ksenia Rappaport) is a hotel chambermaid without a boy friend, so
she goes to a singles place and meets Guido (Filippo Timi) and they hit
it off. Suddenly their idyll is shattered when they are both victimized
by a theft from a huge house for which Guido is a security guard.
OK so far, but then we go
through an hour of Sonia and the horrible trauma she endures as a result
of going through the theft. Thereís one scene of her in a bathtub, just
thinking, that lasts for what seems like five minutes. And thereís not
even any graphic nudity to arouse oneís interest, if youíll pardon the
expression. Pace is clearly not a word with which director Giuseppe
Capotondi is familiar.
You know itís a movie because
all of the chambermaids are beauties. Iíve been to Italy many times and
donít remember chambermaids who look like these.
While the acting is uniformly
good, Sonia goes through the entire movie with such a dyspeptic look on
her face that itís hard to feel much sympathy, or to comprehend what
Guido sees in her. And Guido is such a good-looking guy, itís hard to
buy the idea that he has to troll in a singles place to find a date.
But, like I said, this is a movie and itís full of movie stars. It
probably wouldnít sell if Sonia and her fellow chambermaids were played
by people who looked like Roseanne Barr or Kathy Bates, which is
probably closer to what most chambermaids look like than the beautiful
Rappaport and the others.
It finally crawls to a
relatively surprising climax, if thatís the right word for something
that drags like this. The main feeling I had was relief that it was
finally over. In Italian.