Film Reviews


By • Sep 25th, 2017 •

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IMDB refers to the conjoined twins as Daisy and Violet, whereas their names in the film’s subtitles are Dasy and Viola. But the mistake was an easy one if the writer has any acquaintance with film history. Daisy and Violet Hilton were the famous conjoined twins who were misused by their guardians, infamously appeared in Tod Browning‘s unique, questionable film FREAKS in 1932, legally broke with their oppressive ‘managers’ in their 20s, and were later told that they could be separated without endangering either one of their lives, but chose not to.

Edoardo De Angelis’ lovely film pays homage to the Hiltons wherever and however it can, which is much appreciated. These [real life] sisters, submitted to the same ill domination by manipulative parental figures, embark on a perilous journey to escape their bondage, and the stakes are measurably heightened by their sheltered innocence.

The twins are played by Angela and Marianna Fontana, both of them superb. The director has Fellini’s gift for choosing fascinating faces, which he does relentlessly here, but the sisters display the most wondrous faces of all. We can’t get enough of them, and the camera often stays in close, capturing every emotional nuance as they clash about what their destiny should be. The proximity of the camera also emphasizes how trapped they are, by the lens as well as by their flesh.

The cinematography is lush and languorous. An opening tracking shot at dusk informs us of the film’s pacing, allowing us a few moments to adapt. The music is often melancholy, and I wished there were more of it (maybe on the BluRay…) If I were to quibble, I would say that the very ending of the film is a bit too protracted. Not a substantial criticism.

There is another film about unique twins, by the way, which also came out this year, and also has beautiful music – THE LURE, about mermaid siblings who yearn to do a nightclub act. What are the odds…?

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