When Laura learns that Chrstine's message is actually a warning to leave Venice before it's too late, and that the message is for John, who whether he wishes to believe it or not is capable of some psychic insight himself, DON'T LOOK NOW moves with a dreadful pace to its horrible and inevitable end. But the manner in which it does so is so remarkable, and so visible to the audience that Roeg elevates the story to classic status. He's ably assisted by Sutherland and Christie, who turn in one of the most believable portraits of marriage I've seen on film. So much has been said of the pivotal love-making scene, cutting between the unbridled intimacy of the act itself and the distant dressing afterward, but beyond that what makes John and Laura's relationship so believable is in the little things: the constant interruptions in each other's conversations that never escalate into arguments but rather feel like this is how they've always talked. The small touches and brushes into one another on the bed before the lovemaking, in the restaurant, and the jogging steps John takes as he runs to touch Laura's hand one last time before her boat leaves. In a film surrounded by so many odd supporting characters (the sisters, the supremely odd police chief) John and Laura are utterly grounded in reality, and it makes the fantastic events that occur all the more tragic.
The last thought I wanted to get out about DON'T LOOK NOW is how deliberate Roeg's direction is. Typically in a horror movie the directions a film takes align up with the perspective of the main character. You the audience learn something because the main character is learning something. Roeg does the exact opposite in DON'T LOOK NOW - he uses dissolves, flash-backs, genius editing and color to explicitly alert you - not John - to what's going on in the film. In one particular set-piece John is matching a newly cut tile to see how it matches against the original tiles for a mosaic high on a church wall. He stands on a rickety scaffold, and the camera constantly cuts back and forth from sets of eyes: on the mosaic, on pictures aligning a sheet of glass, and all of this cuts back to the cataract eyes of the psychic sister who heard the warnings to leave Venice before it was too late. Roeg doesn't rub your nose in it; rather, he very purposefully presents his cues and guides you through to the climax of the film. It's an incredibly assured job (not surprising considering some of his past work with David Lean and Roger Corman), and indicative of the visual themes he would continue to pursue in films like THE MAN WHO FELL TO EARTH and BAD TIMING.