|Index||9 reviews in total|
Enjoyed this film. Thought it had an interesting take on London,
showing us a different city to the one often seen in films. The
stylised way it was shot might be too much for some people but I really
liked it and felt it gave the film a great atmosphere. London looked
Add to that some subtle and nuanced performances, particularly from Charlotte Rampling who really carries it. She was superb. There are some weaknesses and it won't be a film that appeals to everyone but if you do fancy watching something that requires you to think, is atmospheric, beautifully filmed and acted then I, Anna is worth watching.
The erroneous synopsis to this stylish if slightly flawed thriller, does not do the intricate, complex story the justice it deserves. Barnaby Southcombe's debut feature is an adaption of Elsa Lewin's dark novel of the same name. Shot in various locations around London, it unravels the story of the relationship between a high ranking detective (Gabriel Byrne) investigating the murder of a no good low life, and a middle aged divorcée, Charlotte Rampling, with whom he develops a potentially damaging obsession. The film unfolds slowly but is worth the wait. The film engages the viewer as the pace quickens and story intensifies and things just gets better and better. Strong performances from the two stars as one would expect. A wonderful vehicle for Charlotte Rampling to prove a woman over 50 can be just as sexy and alluring as any 25 year old, she is totally convincing as the fragile, complex protagonist. And a real treat to have Eddie Marsan on screen, every film is improved by his presence, never puts a foot wrong, superb. London is a stylish but never overwhelming backdrop to this pleasing contemporary film noir. And a cracking soundtrack too...
I, Anna is an above average film noir atmospherically filmed in London.
The usual noir elements are present: the cop with a failed marriage,
the female suspect with whom the cop falls in love, nice use of London
locations and cinematography to match it. The two leads are expertly
played by seasoned actors Gabriel Byrne and Charlotte Rampling. It is a
promising debut for Barnaby Southcombe, who has added a new element in
his adaptation of the source novel, which has given greater depth to
the story and characters.
A trivia point: Barnaby Southcombe is the real life son of Charlotte Rampling!
This is a brilliantly crafted and paced film with a deep understanding of the Noir genre. It also contributes to the very small canon of films that depict mature female screen characters, rarely seen in the UK fictional media. The cinematography is acute and the lighting extraordinary. the music bold and moody noir. The denouement is not predictable, even though you think it might be, and it taps deeply into real emerging social issues in the UK - so even though noir is often style over content there is a real message to this film which works on you long after the viewing. But the world it creates is steady, fascinating and waiting for you....
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Any film starring Charlotte Rampling is worth watching just for her
presence alone even after nearly fifty years in the movies, she still
adds an enigmatic quality that's hard to define.
She is very much centre stage in "I, Anna". Not so surprising really, it was directed by her son, Barnaby Southcombe, who, it must be said, directed his mum in some pretty challenging scenes.
The story is complex and hard to follow. Although it does make more sense by the end, it isn't by much. It is also a film that may have visited the "is it real or is it just imagination" plot just one time too many.
The story has a number of strands that eventually wind together. Anna Welles (Charlotte Rampling) is searching for a relationship through a speed-dating club run by Louise (Caroline Catz). She lives with her daughter, Emmy (Hayley Atwell) and baby grand daughter or does she?
Gabriel Byrne as policeman, DCI Bernie Reid, is investigating the murder of a middle-aged man in a high-rise apartment. During the course of his investigation, he meets Anna in the apartment building, but later, she doesn't remember the occasion at all. Reid follows Anna and joins the dating club to make contact with her.
The film also involves a young guy who shared the unit with the murdered man. However, without giving too much of the plot away, I feel that Anna and DCI Reid's motivations remain unclear even at the end. Is she a femme fatale or just delusional? Is he captivated by her or just using an unorthodox method to solve the murder case? The film is just too obscure all the way through like a sketch that needed a lot more colour and brushwork to finish it off.
A movie such as "I, Anna" must also compete with first class, movie-length television series such as "Vera", "Lewis" and "Wallander" to name just a few, which have complicated, well thought out plots and brilliant characterisations the competition is hefty, and I don't think "I, Anna", after a promising start, really ups the ante all that much.
Despite the presence of the perennially enigmatic Charlotte Rampling, the story is just too thin, and has a denouement that we've seen before in other movies.
Passably interesting drama concerning a woman, Anna (Charlotte
Rampling), attempting to find another partner - she frequents singles
gatherings - and a detective, Bernie (Gabriel Byrne), coming off a
marriage separation, who pass each other at a ground-floor, elevator
door of an apartment building in which a man has been battered to death
overnight in one of the lodgings.
Bernie finds an umbrella, in the elevator, which Anna forgot about as she walked away. Instead of returning the item, Bernie, later on, traces her car license, establishes her address and sets about meeting her again - at one of those singles gatherings. All this while he's investigating - actually, getting his number two, Kevin (the always-terrific Eddie Marsan), to carry the load - said gruesome murder. A sub-plot about a teenager needing money to pay back dealers muddies the waters, so to speak, implicating him as a suspect in the murder of the man - who happens to be his father; and who is, incidentally, a most unpleasant character.
As the main plot unfolds, we see - in flashback - what Anna did at her previous singles thingy, the night before; which also begins to suggest she might be involved with the murder. But, how? Well, that's what Bernie frantically tries to find out. And which I'll leave you to enjoy at your leisure. The denouement, however, will give you pause to think about just how well you know - or ever can know - another person.
Rampling always performs well in heavy dramas; in this, she does better than other roles she's had. Byrne, over the years, just seems to get parts that meld perfectly with his laid back - some might call it lazy - style of acting. Indeed, Bernie appears to be almost sleep-walking much of the time. The stand-out, though, in this offering is Eddie Marsan who, unfortunately, is not used enough; always a pleasure to watch his performance. The rest of the cast is uniformly good.
As for the movie's director of this well-constructed movie, it's more than interesting to note that Barnaby Southcombe is actually Rampling's son. Nothing like keeping things in the family, I guess....
If ten is top prize, this gets five.
July 26, 2015.
I was tempted to give this 10/10 simply to compensate for the idiots who gave this film 1 and 2 out of 10. I didn't ultimately but it gives me the sh*ts when I see people unfairly rating down a film. With an average 6/10 I might not have watched this - and it was a genuinely decent film. The story is coherent and the plot competent. The way in which the central event of the film is slowly revealed is sophisticated and worked well. Both Charlotte Rampling and Gabriel Byrne are top rate leading actors and both do a good job. Rampling's performance was particularly convincing. Casting mature actors in these lead roles (without making a big thing about it) was quite believable and worked really well. The setting, the cinematography, the late-night London insomniac noir all create a compelling atmosphere. It's a genre film and, as such, isn't fabulously original, but is nonetheless well worth watching.
I didn't like it at all, I kept unmoved and bored. And, after reading the fact that the film director was Rampling's son, I understood everything... Awfully bad directed. Not even an actor of the calibre of Mr Byrne can save this movie from being a bad version of a film noir. Sorry for Ms Rampling but even her was not convincing at all. I also spotted a scene at a beach where the sea was just a theatre set! That was really bad. There was a static view of the sea just behind the figure of Ms Rampling. I was so distracted by this fact that I had to rewind a little to see if I lost anything from the plot. Won't recommend it.
This is one of those trick flicks that tosses out multiple characters
with multiple stories making you think it will all come together at
Ha Ha! You won't find that here!
The most this flick gives is a few artsy views of London made all moody with overcast skies. The story jumps around, cops race around, Anna is forever on the move with that fractured wrist. And just what was that teenage guy up to? It's never made clear.
Loose ends throughout. But I stuck with it thinking it would all come together.
By the end of the movie you want to just scream "JUMP - PLEASE"!
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