Fresh from his TV success as The Young Pope, Hollywood heartthrob Jude Law appears in Obsession directed by Ivo Von Hove (Lazarus, Hedda Gabler). The story is lifted from an unfilmed screenplay by Luchino Visconti (Death In Venice) and revolves around a murky mix of sex, murder and betrayal. So far, so Italian, but Von Hove elevates the strangely stiff, stilted and staccato script into an engaging study of human nature peppered with insightful observations on love and connection. As peripatetic hunk Gino, Law lays down a steamy masterclass in sensuality and soulfulness while, opposite him, Halina Reijn is an invigorating foil as the desperate drifter who values roots over freedom. A heart-rending denouement is spoiled by a mawkish and eminently missable epilogue which veers on the pretentious; by all means, feel free to leg it early to avoid the rush. Obsession will be broadcast live at the Barbican as well as cinemas around the UK and internationally on 11 May. Barbican, Silk Street, EC2Y 8DS, £16-£60, until 20 May ★★★☆☆
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