Trap for Cinderella
Facts and Figures
Run time: 100 mins
In Theaters: Friday 12th July 2013
Distributed by: IFC Midnight
Production compaines: Forthcoming Productions, Jonescompany Productions, Lipsync Productions
Contactmusic.com: 2 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 25%
Fresh: 4 Rotten: 12
IMDB: 5.5 / 10
Trap for Cinderella Review
Stylish and moody, this twisty dramatic thriller gets under our skin with its mysterious tone and darkly insinuating performances. But the script is badly underwritten, never quite connecting the dots between what happens on screen. Several of the events are frankly unbelievable, which is made more frustrating by characters who continually do things that don't make logical sense. So we end up struggling to see the point of it all.
Everything happens in the wake of a massive explosion at a holiday house in the south of France. Micky (Middleton) wakes up with amnesia, having had her face rebuilt by surgeons. But her childhood best pal Domenica (Roach in flashbacks) died in the fire, leaving a huge hole in her life. Her guardian (Kerry Fox) tries to help her return to her daily routine, but she's obsessed with piecing together the nagging puzzle about what happened. And she doesn't really want to be the person she apparently was before the accident. Her old boyfriend Jake (Bernard) is some help, but the more she learns about her former life, the more she wonders who she really is.
The insinuation from the very start is that Micky and Do may have swapped identities in the accident, which seems rather ridiculous since they aren't the same height. Reconstructive surgery can't overcome that, and their different coloured hair would become obvious pretty quickly. So every time writer-director Softley tries to drop a hint or throw us off the trail, we feel like we're being had. At least he maintains a terrific sense of film noir creepiness, with lush visuals and scenes that draw us in to make us wonder what will happen next. And there is the tantalising possibility that the swap is psychological.
But none of this matters, because there's nothing about these people that's likeable or interesting. Middleton at least has strong on-screen presence, adding some suggestive layers. But Roach has to play Do as passive and dull. And much more compelling characters played by Fox and Barnard aren't around long enough for us to really get to know them. So in the end, the revelations simply don't hold water. And anyway, it's impossible to care.