Dormer takes a major risk in this role. Sofia is a pianist who works in an orchestra that creates film scores. Still, the final effect feels a bit muted. As it tumbles into a blood-splashed finale, Byrne and Dormer make script choices that rob its tale of moral complexity. Despite these fumblings, In Darkness is inventive, surprising, sexy, and repugnant. Sofia has told us she is light sensitive. Playing blind can lead to deeply hokey acting complete with mournful mid-distance stares and melodramatic mugging.
But sitting down to review, the film cracked open as I considered it. They meant to make me feel off-kilter and disturbed. I saw the method behind the sexual menace of ogling a blind woman, the objectification of a corpse. In my first draft of this review, I lamented the ogling of Dormer, writing. There are brief moments where Dormer gets to break out of this borderline suffocating stoicism, crumbling into panic when accosted on a busy street, and giving way to fury when confronted with an atrocious revelation. This music being diegetic makes it play as meta-commentary on her obliviousness to the threat around her. Then this intense intercutting demands we consider her context, the fears that plague and shape her. Perhaps Byrne wants us to see Sofia as the world does, beautiful and vulnerable. While this was far from a fun watch, it was enriched by chewing on it for a bit. Had I watched it on my own, just for fun, I might have walked away with a shrug, thinking it another mediocre thriller that misused its charming leading lady. And rather than frantic shots of their fight, Byrne favors a shot of a graffitied wall, on which their shadows violently collide. They meant to deny us her standard charms. So, the answer to who killed Veronique proves disappointing, and a climactic kill feels like a strangely safe call. In Darkness follows Sofia Dormer , a blind pianist who is the only witness to the suspicious death of her neighbor Veronique a sultry Emily Ratajkowski , the gorgeous daughter of a possible war criminal a grim Jan Bijvoet. But she favors a reserved approach that offers an often enigmatic expression. Still, the final effect feels a bit muted. They meant to repulse with their crass objectification of female bodies. She can hear the music, but cannot see how it relates to the figure lurking in the shadows. Our suspense is heightened by this seeming dramatic irony. For all this In Darkness is more inventive and smart than I originally gave it credit for. As it tumbles into a blood-splashed finale, Byrne and Dormer make script choices that rob its tale of moral complexity. Kristy Puchko is the managing editor of Pajiba. But her burgeoning friendship with the glamorous and troubled girl has both the cops and criminals curious about how much she really knows. One is aural, another visual. But as I drafted my review, I realized this was by design. Playing blind can lead to deeply hokey acting complete with mournful mid-distance stares and melodramatic mugging.
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The Tudors (Jonathan Rhys Meyer & Natalie Dormer)
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