The Double Life of Veronique is like Amélie, only guaranteed to make you look cleverer.
Polish auteur Krzysztof Kieslowski hit arthouse pay dirt with his Three Colours Trilogy, and as a result compelled a younger generation of film lovers to explore his fascinating oeuvre. As The Double Life of Veronique was made two years before Colours you'd be forgiven for seeing it as a trial run for those films. But surely trial runs aren't meant to be this assured.
Irène Jacob plays two women called Veronique who live suspiciously similar lives but reside in completely different countries. In essence, what we have here is a cinematic jigsaw that purposely doesn't quite fit. It's a film which explores the meaty topics of the duality of existence and the futile nature of love with the lightest of touch.
The mood-adjusting colour saturation of each shot (lots of yellows and deep blues) makes you think that directors like Soderbergh and Spielberg were taking mental notes while watching the film. Jacob's committed central performance as the two Veroniques is one of passion and austerity.
More even than Kieslowski's dream-like direction, she's the reason you should see this film. Bafflingly, very few of Jacob's films have made it to these shores. For anyone not fully versed in '90s European cinema, this is like Amélie, only guaranteed to make you look cleverer.
Why's it being re-released again?
Cryptic yet fully engaging.
Irène Jacob needs a better agent.