Laurie Anderson put it neatly: 'I hate my dreams,' she said. 'They're so infantile.' Campion's film is being sold as an erotic thriller, but the director evidently approached it as a fantasy. Ryan (no longer cute, and more interesting for it) is Frannie, an English teacher at NYU, caught up in a murder case when a 'disarticulated' corpse shows up on her doorstep. Frannie watched the girl giving head to a guy just the day before, a guy with an uncanny resemblance to homicide cop Molloy. Campion and Susanna Moore have sliced and diced the latter's novel, chopping and doubling characters with schizoid abandon. Every male is suspect. As for Molloy, Ruffalo gives him colour and shading; it's not the actor's fault if the character makes no sense. There's a much better film going on at the same time. Frannie's frank, funny relationship with her half-sister Pauline (Leigh) is credible and touching; so too, for that matter, is the fearful desire that pulses through Fran's erotic relationship with Molloy. The film's strong on its blurry, jittery New York rhythms, and the rich, febrile atmospherics are laced with poetry and secret talismans. There's texture and subtext to spare, but when it comes to text, Campion's disinterest in genre is palpable.
In the Cut
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Susanna Moore, Jane Campion|
Jennifer Jason Leigh