Bil’s rating (out of 5): BB.
United Kingdom, 1995. British Screen Productions, Dan Films, Merseyside Film Production Fund. Screenplay by Frank Cottrell Boyce, from an idea by Frank Cottrell Boyce, Michael Winterbottom. Cinematography by Seamus McGarvey. Produced by Julie Baines, Sarah Daniel. Music by John Harle. Production Design by Rupert Miles. Costume Design by Rachael Fleming. Film Editing by Trevor Waite.
Amanda Plummer plays an unstable woman searching Britain’s highway petrol stations for a woman named Judith, who she insists is the love of her life. When the girls working the counter can’t help her she lashes out and kills them, which makes us worry when she meets sweet Saskia Reeves, who takes a liking to her, leaves job and mother behind and hits the road with her new best friend. Reeves sees a spark of goodness in her new lover that she hopes to emphasize and make known, but as their situations progress and Plummer keeps busting out her worst habits, it begins to appear that it is Reeves whose morality is being dragged down and not the other way around. Unappealing and harsh, the film could do with a little humour or maybe some anti-heroic appeal in its lead character: Plummer plays the part with a miserable menace that takes no pleasure in being bad. This is an admirable move that avoids the kind of glorification that multiple murderers usually get in cinema, but it also makes the film impossible to sit through, not to mention that the filthy, self-mutilating chains she wears under her clothes are just plain gross.
Berlin Film Festival Award: In Competition
European Film Award Nomination: Young European Film of the Year