Patricia Clarkson’s homicide cop is the enigma in the director’s inspired reworking of a Martin Amis crime novel
Is there any voice in modern British cinema more singular or distinctive than that of Carol Morley? From the confessional revelations of The Alcohol Years, through the heart-breaking docudrama of Dreams of a Life, to the spine-tingling swoon of The Falling, Morley has proved herself an unflinchingly adventurous film-maker – what Werner Herzog would call “a good soldier for cinema”. In her latest film, her most ambitious to date, she takes a neo-noir murder mystery and turns it into a quasi-metaphysical rumination upon life, the universe and everything. It’s a feat she undertakes with the gusto of one who is unafraid to fall, conjuring a trail of iridescent movie magic as she sets her sights on the stars.
“You can tell a lot by looking,” says astrophysicist Jennifer Rockwell (Mamie Gummer), a phrase that reverberates throughout this shimmering puzzle, matched and mirrored by the haunting strains of Brenda Lee singing I’ll Be Seeing You. After a cosmic opening that recalls Powell and Pressburger’s A Matter of Life and Death, we pan down to Earth, to the blue dome of an observatory split by a shaft of red light.
Out of Blue review – Carol Morley’s visionary thriller