In his feature film debut Barnaby Southcombe directs his mother, Charlotte Rampling, in this British noir co-starring Gabriel Byrne. Byrne is a DI investigating the suspicious death of man in an estate, the course of which see him becoming involved with Rampling’s distant and despondent divorcee.
I, Anna is an extremely atmospheric film with Southcombe subduing colours to the point of grey scale. Dialogue is minimalist as Byrne and Rampling convey their feelings for each other and those around them with poignant performances. This could have been a brilliant entry in the canon of British cinema.
However, performances aside, a film will live and die on its story and I, Anna’s is just too hard to swallow. The slow build up that’s endured for most of the film is undermined by a dénouement that threatens its credibility. When the big reveal is announced, the film rushes towards its climax, and begins to fall apart as soon as you even begin to question the logic of it. Southcombe is happy to let the viewer wallow in the film’s atmosphere for so long it’s a shame that he decided to pull the rug from under them so abrasively.