In Louise and Her Lover, a young model name Lilly (Julia Porter Howe) is being interviewed by a man (Richard Buonagurio) about Lilly’s relationship with a painter named Johanna (Morgan Powell). As the interview goes on, the questions and answers are juxtaposed with the more fleshed-out story of how Lilly came to model for Johanna, and the physical and emotional relationship that grew from that experience plays out. Or does it? It becomes clear early on that things are not necessarily as obvious as Lilly is making them sound, and as the interview goes on, the tale starts to change. Suddenly the relationship is not as clear-cut, and who is this Louise person (Deirdre Herlihy) anyway?
Louise and Her Lover is one of those films that rewards those who stick with it, as it becomes more interesting the longer you watch. A psychological, sexual thriller with an affinity for the appropriate amounts of nudity you would expect from a tale like this, the film is at some points very predictable, but not so much as to truly take away from the experience. Basically, you may know where it’s going, but you may never really know the truth of how it got there.
One of the choices I enjoyed was the usage of the tape recording audio in the interview scenes where the tape recording was being made. It gives a detached feel to the film which is somewhat spooky, and gives you an idea that the unreliable narrator of our tale is not the only one willing to manipulate the presentation.
And this is extended by the score, which is often innocent tinklings on a piano only to be disrupted by the ominous rumble of something more insidious. Even if you were willing to see the film as something lighter, the changes in aural ambiance make it near impossible. But is this the film’s manipulations on the audience, or an extension on the internal manipulations that Lilly is playing with herself?
In the end, Louise and Her Lover is a psychological, sexual thriller that grows more and more interesting the longer it plays out. While it is easy to guess what happens in the film at the very start, and that guess will most likely be correct, the reasoning and events that get you to that eventual resolution are constantly being revised as the film plays out. In the end, we may know what the end result was, but I’m not so sure that we ever really know the real story of “how” or “why,” because the telling loops in on itself and changes so often, finding enough of the truth to trust is no easy feat.
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