Director: Roman Polanski. Cast: Emmanuelle Seigner, Mathieu Amalric. 96 min. Not Rated. France/Poland. Drama.
Polanski had already performed the "minimal characters in single location" act in Death and the Maiden (1994), and performed it very well. This time he creates a similar opportunity for Amalric, as a playwright who adapts an old sadomasochistic story, and his real-life wife Seigner, as the actress who auditions for the role, in a theater, told in real-time. The dialogue is smart, subtle and engaging, but 20 years from her Bitter Moon days, Seigner looks too old for a femme fatale role, and the bizarre climactic payoff, far from fulfilling, borders on creepy. Better luck next time.