I, Anna (2012) / Drama-Thriller
MPAA rated: Not rated, but probably R for sexual content, violence and language
Length: 93 min.
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, Hayley Atwell, Eddie Marsan, Jodhi May, Ralph Brown, Max Deacon, Honor Blackman
Director: Barnaby Southcombe
Screenplay: Barnaby Southcombe (based on the novel by Elsa Lewin)
Review published March 5, 2013
Charlotte Rampling (Basic Instinct 2, Swimming Pool) plays the eponymous Anna, a divorced middle-aged London saleswoman still who feels perhaps the split may have been a mistake, as she hasn't quite let go. Her daughter (Atwell, Captain America) encourages her to get out there and meet someone new, and her first chance involves a 'speed-dating' social. She meets an interesting fellow (Brown, Pirate Radio) and decides to see him again outside.
However, in a twist of events, the man ends up found murdered the next morning and Anna, who seems to have some problems with her memory and a fractured wrist, has been seen by a detective named Bernie (Byrne, Jindabyne) shortly afterward at the premises. Bernie is an equally lonely man, and develops a romantic interest in Anna, but she is a suspect in the murder which keeps him in pursuit for two separate and conflicting reasons.
Veteran television director Barnaby Southcombe takes his turn on his first feature film with mixed results, mostly due to his own problematic screenplay more so than anything he does from the director's chair. It's a stylish, downbeat noir piece, with good cinematography and an interesting electronic soundtrack, but the story elements never elevate it into much more than passably interesting at times.
Southcombe is the son of the film's star, Charlotte Rampling, who delivers a fine performance in a movie that ultimately feel like interesting developments that fall short of their initial promise by the story's end. Southcombe has fine actors in the lead roles, nice use of locales, and plenty of effective atmosphere, but where the twists go prove to be dull, increasingly improbable and fall a good deal short of satisfying.
©2013 Vince Leo