La doppia ora means the double hour in Italian and refers to an instance when the hour and the minute are the same (like 11:11 or 05:05); and according to superstition you are meant to make a wish just then, which will come true. In the film La doppia ora, one of these rare moments happens as a couple chats on the street after meeting at a speed-dating event. Sonia is an Eastern European immigrant maid at a nice hotel in Torino who has witnessed a suicide as the film begins so she is not really in the best mood for the chit chat necessary at these dating session. Guido is an ex-cop who has been coming since he lost his wife 3 years earlier and has yet to meet anyone he could think of having a relationship with. But they are drawn to each other and start dating.

It seems like it is going to be a nice romantic drama until he takes her on a date out into the country, to his place of work. He is a security guard at the estate of a very wealthy and never seen tycoon. And just as they are taking a romantic stroll around the grounds, getting to know one another, someone knocks him over the head. When he comes to, masked men force him to unlock all the gates and doors so they can clean the mansion out – paintings, furniture and everything not nailed down. Then they threaten Sonia, and Guido attacks them, getting himself shot and killed in the process.

Guido’s old cop buddies have some questions for Sonia about what really happened and if she was a part of the crime. But at the same time Sonia begins catching glimpses of Guido and questioning whether he is really dead. The movie has a number of twists and turns, which I won’t reveal because it would ruin what is an excellent psychological crime drama. For a good while you are not sure what is real and what is not, and I must say I like that a lot (as long as it is finally revealed, as it is here.)

Guido is played by sexy Filippo Timi who reminded me of an easy on the eyes Javier Bardem-Jake Gyllenhaal mix. And Sonia is played by the talented Russian actress Kseniya Rappoport whose subtle expressions tell a whole story themselves. She won the Best Actress prize at the Venice film festival for her role. La doppia ora came out in 2009 in Italy, but has just arrived in theaters in the US in the past few weeks. I would recommend it for date night or those who like Italian cinema or just want to see a really well done psychological drama.

There was talk of a US remake almost as soon as it screened at the Venice Film Festival, so if you are not a foreign film fan, you may have the chance to see it later, though I am sure it will lose something in the translation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *