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Showing its moviemaking pedigree by flawlessly utilising the perilous Billy Wilder-inspired protagonistís voice-over from beyond the grave in its opening sequence, Just Another Love Story lets its audience know from the start that itís anything but.

Far into the ether, Jonas begins the tale of how he came to be laid out on a rainy Danish street, with all the aplomb of the departed.  A happy family man, Jonasí life misses nothing; not the love of his wife or friends, nor beautiful children.  In fact, we donít know how anyone could ask for anything more until the fateful day that Jonas and his family are involved in a car crash.  Having barely escaped with his life, Jonas rushes out to help the catalyst of the accident, a teary-eyed bewildered girl who falls unconscious in Jonasí arms.  This triggers an unexpected reaction from Jonas who becomes desperate to check on the welfare of the comatose victim, lying to hospital staff in order to visit her.  The lie multiplies like a pair of rabbits and Jonas goes from fibbing about being Juliaís lover to being so warmly accepted by her family that he decides to make the role his reality, abandoning his family and seemingly all good sense over this falsehood.  What Jonas doesnít know is that Julia is also hiding a few secrets which are safely buried under amnesia once she comes to.  Julia only recalls in flashback that the man Jonas is meant to be was an abuser who Julia shot in self-defense and left for dead in her flight.  As we all know from watching decades of cinematic thrillers, some skeletons wonít stay buried.

Truly creepy stuff, kids; the worldís first existentialist slasher film.  Who knew the latest masters of the scary movie would hail from Scandinavia?  Reflecting the mood and gravity of last yearís Let the Right One In, Just Another Love Story uses similar washed-out palettes, overcast skies and moody half-lighting that become as much a character in the film as any actor.  Juliaís pulsing flashback revelations of violence and her bandaged mystery visitor are shudder-worthy. The unexpected plot twists spiral into a climax of half truths, sex, stolen identities, middle-age angst and murder.  Itís an Alfred Hitchcock movie directed by Ingmar Bergman.  Actually, itís directed by Ole Bornedal, whose previous thrilled 1994ís Nightwatch made an international splash and heís lost none of those goose-bump-inducing chops.  Just Another Love Story is sharp, smart and hypnotic and will leave viewers unsettled even after the ending, which is a brilliant stroke because we already know how it all turns out.  Bornedalís talent lies in keeping us on the edge of our seats even after we get there.

 

 

~ The Lady Miz Diva

January 9th, 2009

 

 

 

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Photos

(Courtesy of 

Koch-Lorber Pictures)

 

 

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