Film Reviews

Anna M. Michel Spinosa

Rating - 7/10

From Rear Window to Rushmore, Citizen Kane to Amélie, obsession is a perennial favourite in modern cinema.

Michel Spinosa's Anna M. tackles the theme through the eyes of an unhinged female stalker and the result is a chilling psychological drama. Think of it as a better, artier take on Fatal Attraction.

Isabelle Carré stars as Anna, a slightly odd, detached young woman who works at the National Library in Paris and lives with her equally troubled mother. After deliberately walking into the path of a speeding motor vehicle, Anna finds herself in hospital where she develops what at first seems like an innocent crush on the surgeon responsible for fixing her shattered femur, Dr Zanevsky (Gilbert Melki). Of course, Spinosa's film is about obsession and over the course of the next 90 minutes we see Anna take the art of stalking to a whole new level. It's an uncomfortable journey, as those containing casual sex, masturbation, late night phone calls, vandalism and reckless endangerment of children tend to be, and by the end I was so unsettled by Carré's character that I found it genuinely difficult to praise her outstanding performance.

Anna M. is not without its share of flaws - a few stretched plot devices (the slightly cavalier attitude of the locksmith had me scratching my head with frustration) detracted from the tension somewhat and the dream sequence ending seemed like a bit of a cop out - but ultimately I found it to be a rewarding piece of cinema. Spinosa is no Michael Haneke (whose Caché, incidentally, is probably the last great stalker film) but he's certainly a name to watch.