Anna M. (15)

The View Review

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Review byMatthew Turner15/11/2007

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 106 mins

Impressively directed, hugely suspenseful drama with a stunning central performance from Isabelle Carre that is both terrifying and heart-breaking at the same time.
What's it all about?
Written and directed by Michel Spinosa, Anna M stars Isabelle Carre as Anna, a young woman who becomes obsessed with her happily married doctor (Gilbert Melki) when he helps with her rehabilitation following an apparent suicide attempt. Though it begins as a crush, Anna's obsession soon spirals out of control and her behaviour becomes increasingly disturbing.

The Good
Isabelle Carre is superb as Anna, whose kind eyes and shy demeanour mask a deep-seated erotomania. Her performance is frequently astonishing, as she can be both terrifying and heart-breaking in the same moment.

In addition, Gilbert Melki is equally good as Doctor Zanevsky and Spinosa's impressively researched script is careful to absolve him of any blame, indicating that even the most casual words of kindness will be seized on and misinterpreted when in the grip of obsession.

The Great
From a directorial perspective, Spinosa's most interesting decision is to focus entirely on Anna's point of view, rather than centring on Zanevsky as the victim (as in its male equivalent, Enduring Love, which Anna M closely resembles). The script also highlights the occasionally disturbing parallels between Anna's erotomania and the low levels of obsession that are often present in new relationships.

Spinosa orchestrates some painfully tense sequences – indeed, the entire film often feels like watching a train wreck in slow motion. This reaches a high point when Anna takes a job as a babysitter in the apartment upstairs from Zanevsky (Let's dig a tunnel!), at which point you'll be hard pressed not to be hiding behind your hands.

Worth seeing?
Anna M is by no means an easy film to watch, but it's an impressively directed, superbly acted portrait of mental illness that is disturbing, nail-bitingly suspenseful and ultimately moving. Recommended.

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Content updated: 26/09/2015 07:01

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