Writer/director Hare could hardly have anticipated the topicality of this study in Thatcherite morality released amid Tory debate over a 'united' Europe. The heroine of this thriller is ambitious Euro MP Clara Paige (a riveting performance by Rampling), whose swift rise within the Conservative ranks has been paralleled by growing neglect of her relationships with drink-sodden MP husband (Gambon) and young son. On assignment in Paris, Clara's life is devastated by hitherto untapped emotions. She has a passionate affair with entrepreneur Wallace (Glen), and - suspecting a blackmail attempt - commits murder with horrifying efficiency. For all her advocacy of self-determination, Clara is quick to try to evade the consequences of her misdeed. Hare avoids preachiness, thanks largely to taut, sparse dialogue, and brooding visuals from cinematographer Roger Pratt; the look and themes are those of a modern-day film noir, with the plot conjuring a nighmarish world of deception, sexual manipulation, and extortion.
Cast and crew