|Index||7 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....
Adapted from the novel by Elsa Lewin, I, Anna marks the feature
directorial debut for Barnaby Southcombe, starring his mother Charlotte
Rampling in the title role as Anna Welles. Anna is a woman with a
secret, as her memory of waking up next to a murdered man is clouded
even from her own mind and she slowly is revealed more and more of the
truth to herself while embarking on a new relationship with the
detective investigating the case, played by Gabriel Byrne. Trying to
pick her romantic life back up after a separation from her ex-husband,
Anna is living with her daughter (Hayley Atwell) and granddaughter,
spending nights at speed dating events trying to find the right new
man. When one of those men ends up dead, she can't remember the events
leading up to it and is unsure just how far her own guilt goes in the
Told from the perspective of Welles, I, Anna takes a somewhat fresh approach to the noir thriller genre that it buries its roots deep within, as Byrne's D.C.I. Bernie Reid is portrayed more as a supporting character in Anna's story as opposed to the protagonist trying to dissect the femme fatale. That's what he is doing, sure, but the script here is much more focused on Anna's personal struggle and trying to unravel who she is as a person, rather than building itself off of the murder case at the center. Admittedly, the whole plot is relatively absurd, featuring a handful of obvious red herrings and some foreshadowing to its big twist that was a bit too on-the-nose but what works here are the wisely reserved performances from its talented cast and the moody atmosphere that Southcombe applies.
There's a bleak grey sheen hanging above the dreary London setting that sets just the right tone for this melancholic character study, and Rampling really bites into a great role for an actress of her age to deliver some tremendous work in. The entirety of I, Anna is built on a structure that keeps Anna herself a mystery from everyone, including the audience, until the final act reveals all truths but Rampling's quietly haunting performance allows you to care for her before ever knowing whether or not you really should. She's a tragic soul lost in her past and her own foggy present mind, not knowing what she's been responsible for but knowing that there's some kind of darkness there that she has shut herself off from, and all of this is deeply felt in her slowly maddening descent.
Byrne is appropriately jaded and world-worn, and Eddie Marsan provides some nice gruff support as a fellow investigator, but I, Anna totally belongs to Rampling at the end of the day. I also want to make quick note of the soundtrack by K.I.D., providing a score that at first wouldn't seem like it'd fit the mood that Southcombe is aiming for but by the end I was surprised by just how well it worked within the context of the story. It kept a nice rhythm going, which was good to have around since even at an 87-minute running time this one can drag a bit at times.
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 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.
|Official site||Plot keywords||Main details|
|Your user reviews||Your vote history|