Hey, remember when Joseph Fiennes was a big artsy star after Shakespeare in Love? No. Well, neither does he. Today you're more likely to find him in a film like this, a bizarre erotic thriller from Chen Kaige, best known as the director of a variety of Chinese historical epics. Killing Me Softly features Fiennes as a maybe-he's-a-creepy-rapist/maybe-he's-not kinda fellow, and Heather Graham is the woman who falls in love with him at first sight. What develops is a story about a lost mountain expedition (which Fiennes was part of), missing ex-girlfriends, and lots of blind clues (think typewritten letters shoved under the door) that suggest Fiennes is a really bad dude. In the end the film comes across like a kind of cheap knockoff of Basic Instinct
, right down to the string-heavy score. Fiennes even has a taste for kinky sex, and as a fearful Graham is tied to the kitchen table she says, "Sometimes I feel like I don't know you." It's pretty campy-silly, but it's surprisingly watchable for some reason, maybe because of the name-brand actors sleazing it in this Skinemax would-be classic. Who knows. Just check out the unrated edition for extra fun.