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Pete's Peek | Gabriel Byrne and Charlotte Rampling shine in the London noir thriller I, Anna

I Anna DVD cover

THE STORY When a man is found bludgeoned to death by an object a'rt in his fashionable London apartment, the lives of sixty-something department store worker Anna (Charlotte Rampling (opens in new tab)) and lonely detective Bernie Reid (Gabriel Byrne (opens in new tab)) become entwined as the cop begins to fall for the enigmatic Anna, who may or may be responsible for the murder.

Charlotte Rampling & Gabriel Byrne in I, Anna

THE LOWDOWN This London neo-noir, based on a novel (opens in new tab) by 1985 Elsa Lewin, takes its inspiration from the European 1970s arthouse films of the likes of Fassbinder (opens in new tab), Polanski (opens in new tab) and Wenders (opens in new tab), auteurs that were an inspiration to the film’s young director, Barnaby Southcombe (opens in new tab), who is also Rampling’s real-life son.

The Brutalist (opens in new tab) architecture of London’s Barbican Estate (opens in new tab) and the neon lights of the city's hotels give the film a stark 1970s ambience, while the permanently grey skies and Leonard Cohen-inspired soundtrack cast a grim pall over the proceedings, which only serves to highlight the internalised misery of Anna and Bernie.

Charlotte Rampling in I, Anna

Rampling is cooly engaging as the aloof Anna, who slowly comes to realise there is a much greater tragedy weighing on her psyche as she pieces together what really happened on the night of the murder; while Byrne is totally captivating as the insomniac copper desperately hoping Anna can fill a void in his life.

Gabriel Byrne in I, Anna

It might sound all doom and gloom, but it isn’t. It does, however, have some rough edges (especially the big reveal, which comes out of nowhere). But thanks to Rampling and Byrne’s gentle and beguiling turns, they’re easy to forgive...

Honor Blackman in I, Anna

BEST MOMENT Honor Blackman (opens in new tab)’s cameo as a fashionably dressed attendee at a single’s night who gives Anna sex advice on how to keep a man happy. Naughty minx!

Released 15 April on DVD (opens in new tab), from Artificial Eye (opens in new tab)

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