Both Sides of the Blade

Both Sides of the Blade ★★★★

Bodies in space (yes, this doubles as a High Life pun), trying to navigate the invisible lines that separate and connect them, whilst also having to keep themselves from falling apart. If you accept the melodramatically heightened emotionality – something that worked for me far better here than it did in the gentler Let the Sunshine in – you're in for an often pretty harrowing chamber drama about the illusion of knowing what you want from life. Lindon and Binoche are reliably fantastic, and Denis' directorial precision – especially her use of a setting's geography – is frankly incredible. I also love the choice to recontextualise and stage romantic ecstasy and erotic attraction as horrifically destructive forces – and the move comes with a beautifully uneasy Tindersticks score to match. Brilliant ending too. Probably my first Denis I'm unreservedly enthusiastic about. Time to watch Beau Travail.

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