David Hare’s second feature as a director is a handsomely produced, rather cold drama about the fall of a femme politician.
Although Clara Paige is at the top of the ladder, a high-profile, pro-Thatcher, Tory politico and member of the European parliament, she still finds other people’s lives more attractive han her own. Her husband, Gerald (an MP), is a drunk she’s come to despise.
On a high-level trip to Paris she meets with a young British businessman, Wallace, and starts an affair with him. Late at night, by the Seine, she’s walking along when she sees Michael. Certain he’s followed her, and that he’s her anonymous caller, she tips him into the river, where he drowns.
What follows involves Clara’s attempts to cover up her crime and her gradual realization that Michael, after all, was neither a blackmailer nor her telephone caller.
Hare handles it all with dry, often witty, precision, but with a slightly academic style. Iain Glen is miscast as the lover, and hardly comes across as a candidate for a passionate love affair.