BLOOD ORANGE (2016)
Written and Directed by Toby Tobias
An ailing, aging American musician Bill and his sexy British wife Isabelle, living the high life in their modern villa complete with pool, are paid a visit by Isabelle’s former lover and son-in-law, Lucas. After being married to Lucas’ elderly father for a year until his death, Isabelle was the recipient of his assets, inheritence Lucas believes should have been his. Unwilling to leave the property empty handed, Bill and Isabelle must decide how to deal with their persistent guest.
BLOOD ORANGE is a dramatic thriller that explores the life of Isabelle, a promiscuous young woman, and that of her partially blind husband, Bill. It’s no secret that Isabelle loves sex and has her eye on pool cleaner and general handyman David, with her husband Bill happy for her to seek her sexual gratification with others for he knows that she loves him very much and that the other men she sleeps with are purely for physical enjoyment. Bitter Lucas’ arrival to their Ibizan paradise attempts to burst their bubble but Bill reassures his wife that he has everything under control as he welcomes Lucas to their abode. What exactly Bill has planned for a determined Lucas is unclear but it would appear that he’s not keen on giving Lucas what he wants which results in Lucas seeking out revenge on the woman who, in his mind, stole everything he was due.
BLOOD ORANGE is a strange animal. It’s a very aesthetically pleasing film, from the stunning location shots to the beautiful Kacey Clarke who stars as Isabelle. The story itself is a slow burner with a reliance on dialogue rather than action though as the film unfolds, it becomes more intense with the actions speaking much louder than words.
The performances from its four stars are all very subtle but each slips into their characters with ease. Tension simmers away as you can feel the cracks beginning to appear with the arrival of Lucas. In some ways, the film is similar to Sexy Beast however BLOOD ORANGE fails to reach the highs of that powerful British film.
The movie as a whole lacks the punch it so desperately needs with little happening other than Bill wandering around the dusty land surrounding his villa hunting rabbit whilst his missus has it off with the pool boy. Even when the situation comes to a head with Lucas there’s just not enough meat to the story to bring out the emotion in the viewer. Whilst I can apreciate the sun-kissed thriller elements that BLOOD ORANGE does have, it just unfortunately doesn’t have enough to turn it into an edge-of-your seat thriller which is a shame as the film has plenty of potential.