Italian hit 'The Double Hour' looks for a double dip
Foreign-language remakes aren't easy to pull off. For every instance of "The Departed" (a remake of the Hong Kong thriller "Infernal Affairs"), there are numerous other cases of planned remakes that never make it to the screen, or make it there awkwardly.
But there's reason for hope on "The Double Hour," a romantic thriller that set the Venice Film Festival afire in 2009 and opens next week in the United States. Giuseppe Capotondi's Italian-language picture won three prizes at the festival, including wins for its two lead actors.
The movie tells of a newly formed couple (Ksenia Rappoport and Filippo Timi) for whom things take a dark turn soon after they meet; when it began playing the festival circuit, the film drew rave reviews for its script, performances and general noirish aspects. (You can check out the trailer below.)
English-language remake rights have been in play on the picture for some time. Among the bidders has been Mandalay Entertainment, the production company headed by Hollywood veteran Peter Guber, though the rights could yet go to another player, according to a source who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to talk about it publicly. A Mandalay spokeswoman declined to comment.
Much of the project's eventual success will, of course, depend on casting, storytelling and other aspects all coming into alignment. But with a thriller premise and acclaimed raw material, there's reason to think it could be one of the success stories. And if it doesn't take flight, well, there's always the original.
Photo: "The Double Hour." Credit: Samuel Goldwyn Films