Saturday, October 9, 2010
Little is outright explained in the movie. There are no clunky exposition monologues explaining everyone's backstories or motivations. They talk tersely to each other like people who already know watch other well would and the audience is just left to speculate. How long has Clare done this? Did she do it before she had to pay this debt? Why is she so cold and mechanical to all men, even her boyfriend? None of those questions are answered, but you do eventually see that a child is the one thing that means something to her. She carries an unsmiling expression on her face for most of the film and the only time she smiles in the entire picture is at the end when she watches a sonogram of her unborn child.
It's an eerie, mesmerizing film played out mostly in a landscape of straight angled offices and hotel rooms often viewed through mirrors or windows. Katrin Cartlidge is powerful in the title role doing a combination of serene blankness and vulnerability. It's sobering to realize she would die four years after this film came out. Colm Meany cuts a calm and businesslike but subtly menacing figure as the pimp and Vincent D'Onofrio is fine as the taxi driver who futilely tries to understand his lover. What's most stunning to me is that the director, Lodge Kerrigan, has only made two other films since this was done in 1998. How does someone this talented get so few chances to work in this day and age?