Sustaining a post-child-star career seems a difficult enough labyrinth to manage by itself, but combine that challenge with a bubbly, incessant neighbor intent on stardom, as a new film exploring the toll of celebrity aims to do, and you have a interesting dark vehicle for two talented actresses as a result.
Carrie-Anne Moss and Heather Graham have both signed on to star in “Compulsion,” a thriller written by Floyd Byars (“Masterminds”) that takes place largely within the confines of two adjacent apartments. In one, a former child star (Moss) sinks deeper and deeper into a nihilistic worldview, while in the other, an optimistic, amiable chef (Graham) with notions of landing her own cooking show resides, with little communication between the two women. That all changes, however, when the two polar opposites meet in a confrontation, and their fates become entwined down a dark and disturbing path that will challenge both their worldviews and lives.
The film is directed by Egidio Coccimiglio and is also being lensed by Vilmos Zsigmond, the legendary DP who brought “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “The Deer Hunter” their signature looks. On the surface, “Compulsion” seems to be reminiscent of those mid-’90s, noir-inspired thrillers with a single setting and psycho-sexual undertones, especially with a supporting cast of Kevin Dillon and Joe Mantegna, but there remains some interest points. Moss and Graham both look to have chances exploring two truly twisted individuals, as Moss did with her excellent, ambiguous performance in “Memento,” and seeing Graham finally embody an unhinged performance should reveal a new side to the actress, which is always welcome.
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“Compulsion” is filming right now in Ontario, Canada.