When news broke that director Lynne Ramsay had dropped out of Jane Got A Gun just before the start of principal photography, film fans around the world drew a collective, sharp intake of breath. History has taught us that great female filmmakers can be banished to movie jail for as slight a transgression as mediocre box office performance of a completed film, so surely this would mean the end of Ramsay’s career entirely?
Fast forward to the Cannes Film Festival and we have cause to wildly celebrate, as You Were Never Really Here was presented to the international market as a project seeking buyers and distributors.
The fact that You Were Never Really Here also boasts a script by Ramsay – which she adapted from the 2013 novella of the same name by Jonathan Ames – would make this film exciting enough, but added to that pedigree is the fact that Academy Award nominee Joaquin Phoenix is also attached to star, as reported by ScreenDaily.
“In Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here, Phoenix will play a damaged war veteran, now a freelance rescuer of women trafficked into the sex trade.
“When the extraction of a girl from a Manhattan brothel goes wrong, a storm of violence and corrupt power is unleashed against him, stirring a vengeance that may be his awakening.”
The idea of the filmmaker behind the astonishing We Need To Talk About Kevin teaming up with an actor of the stature and talent of Joaquin Phoenix is tantalizing, and the latter part of the outline has an almost palpable Taxi Driver edge to it. At the same time, the thought of another movie about a man riding in to rescue victimized women does give me pause, but I’m reassured by the fact that Lynne Ramsay is wielding both the pen and the camera frame here – ensuring that this tale will be told from a fresh, innovative perspective.