Eye of the Beholder

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Time Out says

Ewan McGregor plays the Eye, a surveillance operative in British Intelligence. Investigating blackmail, he witnesses murder. The killer is a blonde - or is she brunette? - who disappears into metropolitan anonymity; yet the Eye will not let it go, and hearing about a suspiciously familiar-sounding crime some months later, he picks up the trail, gradually closing in on Joanna (Judd) even as he loses the plot. The Eye, you see, is an unreliable witness, whose only human interaction is with the voices in his head, and who comes to believe that Joanna and his missing daughter are one and the same. A change of tack for Aussie auteur Elliott, formerly a purveyor of garish, misanthropic camp (most famously The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert), this swaps bad taste comedy for bad taste romance: it's a love story for sociopaths. Marc Behm's post-modern noir novel - Lolita with a body count - has been filmed before: most hauntingly by Claude Miller as Mortelle Randonnée, with Isabelle Adjani and Michel Serrault; then, unacknowledged and with a gender twist, by Bob Rafelson as Black Widow. Elliott's flamboyantly surreal version is undone by the central miscasting of McGregor - at least a decade too young to be fixated on a long-lost daughter. Judd is more murderous mannequin than 'Marnie', but then the real star is Elliott's inventive mise-en-scène. Staking a claim as the heir apparent to ageing stylists Brian De Palma and Dario Argento, he drives the voyeurism theme to hi-tech distraction. The result is compellingly bonkers.
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Release details

UK release:

1998

Duration:

110 mins

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