Director: Jane Campion
Running time: 119 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18
UK release date: 31st October 2003
Watched on Sky+ Saturday 11th December 2010.
PLEASE NOTE: THERE MAY BE SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW.
A film notorious for some of its racier scenes came up on one of the movie channels and so I decided to see what all the fuss was about. To be honest, not all that much, it’s kind of interesting, but ultimately unsatisfying. But more of my thoughts later, here’s a brief summary first (summary haters please wait by the lighthouse while I write the next paragraph).
Frannie Avery is a writer and a teacher; she lives alone and currently doesn’t have a boyfriend. When some remains of a murder victim are found outside her building she is questioned by Detective Giovanni A. Malloy and his partner. It transpires that Frannie had been at a bar frequented by the victim on the day of the murder and may have seen something vital to the case. She is surprised when Malloy asks her out for a drink. At first she is undecided, but is persuaded by her sister, Pauline, to go. They end up sleeping together and this proves to be an enlightening experience for Frannie. I won’t say too much more, but then again not much more happens. Needless to say, the case is eventually solved, but not before dire consequences involving one of the cast.
This film is most definitely for adults only, there is a strong sexual content and, at times, quite a lot of gore. Now, from that I guess you’re thinking, maybe I’ll give it a try, but be warned; it has long periods where nothing really seems to happen that moves the story on. Decent performances from Meg Ryan as Frannie, Mark Ruffalo as Detective Malloy and Jennifer Jason Leigh as Pauline. Also nice to see Kevin Bacon in a cameo as Frannie’s former boyfriend John Graham (uncredited).
It seems the director is more interested in conveying feelings than moving the story along. This, unfortunately, means that there is a lot of discussion that adds nothing to the plot and ultimately makes this film a bit tedious to watch. I like the idea but the execution didn’t match up to my expectations I’m afraid. On the plus side, there is some nice close-up cinematography, where part of a face is in focus but the rest is left out to emphasise an expression or a mood. Even so, over all, not recommended I’m afraid.
My score: 5.3/10
IMDb Page: http://uk.imdb.com/title/tt0199626/