Cornell Woolrich’s enigmatic look at a Plain Jane falling for a heel turns into an eerie look at the suppressed longings of the two principals. Though director Alfonso Cuaron coaxes only a flat interp from Laura Dern as heroine-narrator, Alan Rickman and Diane Lane are on-target.
The yarn’s lighting and aura enhance Amanda Silver’s adaptation, and if the answer to the riddle becomes quickly obvious, it doesn’t matter: Cuaron’s use of undercurrents creates its own suspense, and the ending is as it should be.
Peter Bernstein has provided a suitably moody score interspersed with archival background recordings. Emmanuel Lubezki’s camera prowls unerringly through the Frank Lloyd Wright house and the woman’s digs, as Cuaron hands the drama a diamond-hard edge.