Chilean-born French filmmaker Raúl Ruiz (Three Lives and Only One Death) mines the split psyche of a fragile woman — the same rich material that inspired Freud, Hitchcock, and Gwyneth Paltrow in Sliding Doors. Only, being Ruiz, he gives Shattered Image a surrealist paint job, enhanced with dramatically skewed cinematography by Robby Muller (Breaking the Waves). Anne Parillaud (La Femme Nikita) stars as Jessie Markham and her dream-state double: One’s a zombielike assassin hired to kill a slick businessman named Brian (William Baldwin, bringing the same this-is-art intensity he lavished on Sliver’s hooey); the other’s a wealthy, suicidal newlywed married to Brian and fearful that a stranger who raped her in the past is coming back to kill her on her honeymoon. As each Jessie dreams the other’s life, Ruiz — a fantasist who, if he weren’t so self-seriously arty, would have fun working on One Life to Live — has a grand old time shifting back and forth between the labile but always well-dressed Jessies as they fight the feminist fight against Really Bad Men. C+
Genre: Mystery and Thriller; Starring: William Baldwin, Anna Parillaud, Anne Parillaud, Raul Ruiz; Director: Raul Ruiz; Status: In Season; MPAA Rating: In Season; Distributor: Lions Gate Films
Posted December 11 1998 — 12:00 AM EST
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