Philippa Snow at The New Statesman:
“[Jacques Rivette’s] whole movie, like a dream, is set between quotation marks,” Gilbert Adair suggested in Film Comment in 1974. “Like a dream, it is an anagram of reality.” The simplest way to explain the film – if there is a simple way to explain it – is that at some point Celine enters a remote mansion on the outskirts of the city, loses track of time, and ends up thrown back into daylight after an unspecified number of hours. She is dazed, and has no memory of what occurred inside the house, but feels compelled to keep returning.
Julie, keen to solve the puzzle, does the same. After each visit, they emerge with a mysterious piece of candy in their mouths; eventually, it becomes clear that the key to remembering what has transpired is consuming this strange sweet, allowing them to experience a shared hallucination that takes on the shape of a Victorian murder mystery.