Visions (2023)

September 23rd, 2023
Author: Meredith Taylor

Dir: Yann Gozlan, Diane Kruger, Mathieu Kassovitz, Marta Nieto | France, Erotic Thriller 120′

Mediterranean seascapes, modernist villas and a mysterious ménage à trois with a mile-high club pilot. A Perfect Man director Yann Gozlan delivers it all in this glossy erotic thriller that echoes Basic Instinct without its juicy plotline. Visions is fun until it gets stuck on the runway, with Philippe Rombi’s classy score a dead ringer for Jerry Goldsmith’s iconic BI original.

Diane Kruger is perfectly cast as glacial airline pilot Estelle. Living the dream with her medic lover Guillaume (Kassovitz) in their Bandol beachside villa; she drives a Porsche, he a black BMW motorcycle. The opening scene pictures her powering her way through the waves on a morning swim in Côte d’Azur waters: but there’s a sting in the tail to this idyll: a smack of deadly jellyfish hovers nearby setting a sinister tone for this unsettling study in sexual obsession and paranoia.

Estelle’s meticulous routine soon goes awry thanks to the reappearance of former flame Ana (Marta Nieto). The two set eyes on each other in an airport lounge and the rest is history. But their lesbian lust is threatened by someone peering through the keyhole, and it looks suspiciously like Guillaume in his snazzy helmet, or maybe it’s the stray dog that roams around the beach.

When Ana goes missing Estelle’s imagination works overtime imagining her with another lover, as baleful glances and salacious stares are shared with the putative paramour, a gallery-owner called Johana (Amira Casar). Estelle is reduced to a nervous wreck: She must kick her benzo habit and return to those microbiome-friendly smoothies and stick to the original plan – a baby with the long-suffering Guillaume (a criminally underused Kassovitz). 

Coasting on its captivating camerawork and atmosphere this is a moody, erotic thriller to be enjoyed on the big screen. But no amount of visual wizardry can make up for a vehicle that cannot seem to land. Gozlan, collaborating with various other writers, has certainly hammed up on his knowledge of piloting, and that give us something to chew on in a portrait of obsession that goes badly wrong. MT


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