Mother’s Instinct (Duelles)
Directed by: Olivier Masset-Depasse
Belgium/France, 2018, 97m
The spirit of suspense master Alfred Hitchcock hovers over this beautifully designed, lushly scored psychological thriller set in 1960s Brussels. Suburban wives Alice and Céline live side by side in identical bourgeois houses, functioning almost like two halves of a single family. They are best friends, as are their sons who are more like brothers, Theo and Maxime—until one day a tragic accident breaks the harmony between the clans, and paranoia and distrust take hold. While doing her best to be a good, compassionate neighbor, spunky Alice (Veerle Baetens, The Broken Circle Breakdown) finds her mother’s intuition pulling her in a different direction. But with her handsome husband appalled that she would choose instinct over civility, how can Alice protect her family? Director Olivier Masset-Depasse crafts a killer role for his real-life wife Anne Coesens as Céline and plants red herrings with a skill that would have made Hitchcock proud. Mother’s Instinct is a cautionary tale about women’s intuition and maternal obsession that will have you on the edge of your seat—and keep you reaching frequently for your martini glass.