You want obsession? Obsessive, obsessive obsession? Sanguinary intimacy? Fabrice du Welz, Belgian director of 2004’s “Calvaire” goes blissfully bloodily bonkers with “Alléluia,” a lusciously lurid based-on-fact tale of a shy single mom, Gloria (Lola Dueñas) who falls in love with womanizer-cum-hustler Michel (Laurent Lucas). (It’s based on the 1949 history of “lonely hearts killers” Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez, whose crimes have inspired other films, including Leonard Kastle’s blanch-and-white 1970 singularity, “The Honeymoon Killers” and Arturo Ripstein’s stodgier 1996 “Deep Crimson.”) The more Gloria learns about Michel’s perversity, which has its own substance, the more thrilled, the more fixated she becomes. Sociopaths in love, it’s usually time to hit the road. In excelsis Dueñas: her evocation of fuck-all madness mortifies and thrills. It’s mood and sensation and muck without all that moralizing truck. With Héléna Noguerra, Édith Le Merdy. 90m. (Ray Pride)
“Alleluia” opens Friday, July 24 at the Music Box and on video-on-demand.
Ray Pride is Newcity’s film critic and a contributing editor to Filmmaker magazine.
His history of Chicago “Ghost Signs” in words and images will be published in Spring 2022.