"The Well" is a haunting gothic tale without a drop of blood on
the screen. Two very different and, for different reasons, desperate women
come together -- willingly at first -- only to be united and then torn apart
by an accidental killing and its aftermath. Giving too much, being too
needy and mental manipulation are all examined in a story that is a bit
thin for a full length feature, but risky enough and different enough to
provoke interest and respect.
It is also the first film in competition directed and written by women (Samantha
Lang and Laura Jones). The Australian government not only financially backs
and helps train its filmmakers, half of the funds go to women with Jane
Campion being just one of the well known results of this support.
I could have done without the car accident/major plot turn being presented
before the opening credits only to be repeated halfway through the film,
but the performances by Pamela Rabe and Miranda Otto command attention,
the lighting is perfection, and, all in all, "The Well" personifies
what many of us come to Cannes to see: new talent introduced in a film that
stretches traditional structures.