Diamond Skulls

'It begins as if it's going to be a film about class, which is obviously what people expect from the British cinema'. Nick Broomfield goes on to protest that his film deals with the murkier subject of obsession, but in fact it dabbles with both themes - and neither satisfactorily. Lord Hugo Buckton (Byrne), the exceptionally jealous husband of ex-model Ginny (Donohoe), thinks she's having an affair with her publishing colleague. After a heavy night wining and dining, Buckton gets behind the wheel of a car, while fellow officers from his former regiment pile into the back. A woman is run down. After momentary dithering, they decide to close ranks, and so leave her fatally injured. One of the group, noting the victim's strong resemblance to Buckton's wife, suffers from a pricked conscience. But will he run squealing to the police? In documentarist Broomfield's transition to fiction, the camera lingers over Byrne's sculptured features and captures each careful gesture from Donohoe. The controlled technique echoes the theme of domination, but combined with the largely unsympathetic characters, results in a film that affects emotion and remains curiously hollow.

Release details

Duration: 87 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Nick Broomfield
Screenwriter: Tim Rose Price
Cast: Gabriel Byrne
Amanda Donohoe
Michael Hordern
Judy Parfitt
Ian Carmichael
Sadie Frost
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