Barbican Estate, with its warren of concrete walkways and brutalist tower blocks, is the ideal place to film a modern noir thriller. It follows femme fatale Charlotte Rampling, a lonely – but still sexy – older woman who may or may not have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.
We know she is sexy because around 30 per cent of screen time features her shapely legs, a fact that takes on a Freudian flavour when you realise it is directed by her son, Barnaby Southcombe.
Gabriel Byrne is the obligatory tired old cop who falls for the charms of the mysterious dame. The entire affair is shamelessly derivative but Southcombe masterfully ramps up the tension, to the extent that, by the end, you can barely even call it entertainment, more a grim struggle to get to the end.
First published in City A.M.