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Shattered Image (1998)

 -  Crime | Drama | Fantasy  -  4 December 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 554 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 20 critic

Confusing realities surface in this paranoid film dealing with the fragile nature of a young woman (Anne Parillaud) recovering from rape and an apparent attempted suicide. In one reality, ... See full summary »


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Title: Shattered Image (1998)

Shattered Image (1998) on IMDb 4.8/10

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jessie Markham
Lisanne Falk ...
Paula / Laura
Bulle Ogier ...
Mrs. Ford
Billy Wilmott ...
O'Neil Peart ...
Man in Restraurant
Man in Motorboat
Peter Hanlon ...
Dr. Cohen / Dr. Tolan
Alwyn Scott ...
Hotel Manager
Pablo Hoilett ...
Waiter / Waiter #2
Fay Ellington ...
Shop Clerk
Ilona Margolis ...


Confusing realities surface in this paranoid film dealing with the fragile nature of a young woman (Anne Parillaud) recovering from rape and an apparent attempted suicide. In one reality, she is a killer destroyer of men. In another she is the new wife on a Jamaican honeymoon with her husband (William Baldwin), who is trying to help her recover. Which is real is the question as the story unfolds. Written by John Sacksteder <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexuality and some language | See all certifications »



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Release Date:

4 December 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Shattered Image  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$31,859 (USA) (4 December 1998)


$102,523 (USA) (8 January 1999)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


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Did You Know?


Juliette Binoche and Samantha Mathis were both considered for the lead role. See more »

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User Reviews

Osmosis of shattered images
22 July 2011 | by (Greece) – See all my reviews

I think a crucial point in developing an individual taste for cinema is to be able to unwaveringly focus on the things that we feel personally matter. To coast without distraction through the small handicaps that hamper and limit a film in pursuit of the spark of creative vision (assuming one such that matters to us exists). This is to be able to enjoy Argento for who he is rather than in spite of his storytelling deficiencies.

One such thing we have here. A package that looks from a distance as straight-to-video fodder as vehicle for an almost recognizable name, acting that is ho-hum, stilted dialogue. The reward for a casual watcher catching this on latenight TV might be simply to cope a smile at William Baldwin playing actor.

I come to this for the filmmaker though with his potent notions about convergent realities and fictions passing as real, as part of my quest on Raoul Ruiz. Coming from two films he did back in France, both crushingly dry and tedious, for his American debut he reverts back to the heady magic he weaved in his 80's stuff. Soaking in colors, strange portents, frames that become real; a reality hung askew from which we are transported back and forth into the folds of the imaginative mind.

The scaffold: two women (played by Anna Parillaud) as figments of the one damaged mind, each in her separate reality dreaming up the other. Transitions between the two worlds, mostly through sex or objects as mirrors (an acquarium, a painting, even -rather painfully obvious- the frame of what we're watching shattering into shards).

So there is one subconscious where all the hurt is arranged into a wish-fulfillment fantasy (the woman plays a contract killer paid to kill men, eventually discovers the target she falls in love with to be innocent), and the conscious mind in the other plane trying to cope with the anxieties of a situation real or imagined (as seeping back from the dream and flowing into it). It is all about this cinematic flow of a nightmare that renews itself - a half-way intelligent device, perhaps squandered under the auspice of something for latenight cable.

Then there is the ending, no doubt imposed upon Ruiz by producers demanding some solid ground for their audience. It all makes sense eventually, what was real and what not. Again we may disregard this.

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