1973's DONT LOOK NOW was a huge hit, a sexy supernatural thriller set in Venice that boasts a young Donald Sutherland as a art historian and preservationist and the beautiful Julie Christie as his wife.
In the opening scenes of the film, they lose their young daughter in an accidental drowning in a creek near their home. John and Laura (Sutherland and Christie) are working quietly in their countryside home when John suddenly has a vision of their daughter in the water. He rushes to her side, but is too late.
The film flashes forward to Venice, where John is now working on an ancient chapel and Laura meets some neighbors, one of them a blind woman who professes to have visions of her own.
Soon, John is seeing glimpses of a young girl in a bright red coat in Venice, the same coat that their daughter had on when she died. The little girl is always just out of reach, or too far away to catch up to, but the sighting increase.
The rest of the mystery is best left discovered on your own, but sadly in this case, the stylish pieces of the mystery are more intriguing than the bloody, muddled conclusion.
Director Nicolas Roeg (Walkabout, Performance) has visual style to spare, but the special effects are so heavy handed by today's standards they really weigh the film down.
This is a very adult film and has long part of film legend for the love scene between Christie and Sutherland that many have said was not acting. Like many films of the early seventies, it is pretty frank and bold and likely could not be made today.
Spooky but NEVER scary, interesting but NEVER fully engaging, the film is in the end, all wet, which considering the Venice setting, is somehow appropriate. We'll give it a shrug and a muddled C.