When a movie’s press material spends as much time insisting that the film means something as the material for Demonlover does, it’s a pretty good indication that the picture in question is meaningless. Demonlover, from French director and critical darling Olivier Assayas, isn’t quite that empty. Its flimsy narrative thread – involving a pending merger between a French corporation and a Japanese distributor of animated pornography – allows for a perceptive depiction of
so-called business ethics. Yet things become pointlessly convoluted – and eventually inexplicable – when one of the French team members (Connie Nielsen) discovers an
interactive torture site on the Web that may or may not be tied to their future partners. Does it all add up to a “breathtaking vision of our spectacle-driven society,” as the press kit claims? Only if you have a Ph.D. in stretching.