Claire Dolan

Film

Comedy drama

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Time Out says

Writer/director Kerrigan's first film, Clean, Shaven, won kudos for its clinical depiction of schizophrenia, but his second is a trickier proposition all round. Cartlidge plays the title role, one of those high-priced call girls so beloved of movie-makers across the spectrum. Claire hustles with a grim relentlessness, presumably to offset the emptiness she feels. The death of her mother is a catalyst for change. Perversely, she keeps her pimp Roland (Meaney) in the dark about it, as she begins to think about getting out of the game, and having a child herself. Kerrigan films all this with a cold, minimalist rigour, as detached and impersonal as the hotel rooms where Claire plies her trade. Dialogue and emotion is pared to a pragmatic base; it's only Roland who expresses compassion. Narrative ellipses creep in with the silence, and with them an ambiguity that's mysterious or just frustratingly obscure, depending on your willingness to adjust to this painstakingly alienated world view. Finally, the film lacks propulsive threat, and its characters come too close to art movie ciphers. Yet the last scene leaves an acrid aftertaste which isn't easily washed away.
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Release details

UK release:

1998

Duration:

95 mins

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