Deadly Illusions (2021)

ANNA ELIZABETH JAMES

Bil’s rating (out of 5): 0

USA, 2021. . Screenplay by Anna Elizabeth James. Cinematography by . Produced by , , Anna Elizabeth James. Music by . Production Design by . Costume Design by . Film Editing by .

scores a rare lead film role in this unbelievably confused erotic thriller. She plays a bestselling author who has no desire to return to the popular series of mystery novels that have made her name, even when she’s offered a multimillion dollar deal by her publisher. When she finds out that her husband () has bungled their finances, however, she is pressed to say yes, announcing that she can only spend her creative hours writing her new book if she hires help to take care of their young twins. She finds the perfect candidate in , a beautiful young woman who is kind to the children and helpful to Davis, and of course you’re thinking you know where this going, expecting the husband to fulfil the cliché of boning the nanny.  It’s actually Davis who starts having a bit too much personal time with her au pair, spending suspiciously little time writing and taking the young woman bra shopping and on picnics, building up a tension between them that, thanks to the fact that this movie has no idea what is going on with any of these people, is never actually tense or even interesting. When physical contact does finally occur, it is swiftly followed by brandished knives and bodies being stabbed and reality being challenged: is the nanny up to no good, or is Davis imagining everything that’s happening? Don’t keep watching in the hopes of finding out, if it turned out that each page of the script of this movie was made by different people who didn’t consult each other, it would accurately explain the feeling of trying to make your way through it.

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