I, Anna: Movie Review
Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Gabriel Byrne, Hayley Atwell
Director: Barnaby Southcombe
It's back to the noir world for this thriller with an older cast (something of a rarity these days).
Charlotte Rampling stars as Anna Welles, an older woman whom we first meet making a phone call (how quaint - someone actually using a phonebox). It then shifts back to a grimy London and a speed dating singles night out for the older crowd.
Anna meets Ralph Brown's George before heading back to his tower block to take the relationship further. But we next glimpse Anna stumbling from the tower block and a murder investigation begins to unfold. Headed by Gabriel Byrne's DCI Bernie Reid, he's looking into the death of George....is Anna in someway implicated in this? Intrigued by their first brief meeting, Reid begins a romantic pursuit of Anna - but is his investigation crossing over some boundaries?
Grimy, murky, overcooked and overwrought, I Anna is a thriller which really only benefits from its lead actors. Rampling and Byrne make an affable pair and give credence to a story which takes its time to get going. As the layers of the narrative onion peel back, you may well be left crying - for good and bad reasons.
While there are several claustrophobic shots and flashbacks which help tell the story, there's really little meat to these bones as the mystery unfolds. A weary looking Gabriel Byrne brings a dogged cynicism to his leading detective, while Rampling's nuanced and subtle performance hints at tragedy lurking in her past and potentially, her future.
All in all though, I, Anna is a bit of a muddled mystery; one which could have been more if the script had been a little deeper and engaging. Instead, what remains is a piece which looks murky and grainy with a cast whose excellence is barely tested.