Rated: R For explicit scenes. Reviewed by: Chris Release date: January 22, 1993 Released by: New Line Cinema
Adapted from Josephine Hart's novel, Damage is the story of Stephen Fleming (Jeremy Irons), a respected member of Parliament and his affair with his son Martyn's Rupert Graves) girlfriend.
Married to Ingrid (Miranda Richardson), Stephen's life is ordinary and ordered, until he meets Anna (Juliette Binoche) when she introduces herself to hi at a government party. They can't take their eyes off one another and make plans to meet later at her apartment.
Stephen becomes obsessed by the young woman, endangering his marriage, career and his relationship with his son. He never seems to consider the consequences, acting only on impulse.
Anna is boyish-looking, dressed mostly in black with a severe short haircut, making her appear mysterious and sad, and Iron's tall, thin physique and deep-set eyes seem more pronounced as he becomes entirely possessed by this woman. Most of the scenes between them are shot with the camera very close to their faces, giving them a more exaggerated, intense look.
Richardson is terrific as the hurt wife, but Binoche's character is strange. Although it's explained that she experienced a tragedy in her past, her somber personality and manner make it hard to believe that two men would become smitten over her
Irons is almost too painful to watch as Anna becomes the focus of his life. When he's at family get-togethers and the little vein in his temple throbs, or when he an't look her in the eyes, or when his hand trembles at the mere mention of her name; as he tries to disguise all the subtle gestures that will give him away, Irons is terrific.
Directed by Louis Malle, Damage was originally given the dreaded (NC-17) rating and after a couple of cuts, received an (R), but it's intensity of theme and Iron's performance makes it compelling to watch.