Lina Lamont

"What do you think I am, dumb or something?"

I, Anna

Charlotte Rampling, eternally stunning as she sashays gracefully through middle age, is Anna, a lonely divorcee looking for love at singles’ events. A series of mysterious (and ambiguously portrayed) events lands her on the list of suspects clutched by Gabriel Byrne’s faded detective who is investigating a suspicious death.

There’s much more could be said, but it’s better to let the story unfold on screen. The excellent answers-first-questions-later approach to the storytelling ensures you are entrapped till the end, neatly pieced together by writer/director Barnaby Southcombe, son of Rampling. Southcombe makes the step up from a career in television with this feature film debut, doubtless feeling safe under the blaze of his leads’ shining careers.

Directing one’s own mother as a femme fatale is a curious choice for a debutant, but any familial squeamishness is banished as Rampling smiles coquettishly and shows that this sex symbol of yore has still got it.  Byrne plays his Irish self, and there are decent supporting performances from Eddie Marsan (Happy Go Lucky, Vera Drake) and British TV staple Hayley Atwell. Special mention goes to brooding, rainy London, photographed with panache to evoke a traditional noir atmosphere.

This clever, well-acted British thriller seems possibly more akin to a TV movie, but is nonetheless a welcome change to the Hollywood rote, which will keep you gripped until its unnerving revelation.

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