Michael (Jamie Sives) is an obsessive, unstable astrophysicist who is convinced that it is possible to travel backwards and forwards in time through the parallel worlds of a “schizophrenic” universe. To the delight of his observatory boss David (Jason Flemyng) and to the dismay of his sceptical colleague Marianne (Susan Lynch), Michael discovers what he hopes will provide proof of his ‘reverse-time theory’: a star that looks set to become a black hole on the coming New Year’s Eve.
On the very same day as this discovery, Michael meets a mysterious French photographer called Caroline (Julie Gayet), and at once they fall deeply in love. The woman, however, has a strange habit of vanishing, and when Michael turns for information to Dr Hunt (Brian Cox), the psychiatrist whose card Michael had found inside Caroline’s handbag, the doctor insists the Caroline that he treats is a different woman entirely. As Michael’s world begins to fall apart, only time will tell what role he has to play in the coming cosmic ballet.Part science fiction, part ghost story, and part study of mental breakdown,
A Woman In Winter is a romantic head-spinner that suggests many solutions to its central enigma without ever being so coarse as to champion any one over the rest. Caroline (or indeed Michael) might be a phantom, or might be from one of the mirror worlds of Michael’s quantum cosmology, or might even be a figment of the imagination – viewers who wish to know for certain which of these scenarios is true may well feel like laymen faced with a particularly complicated scientific formula. Yet it is precisely this indeterminacy that gives A Woman In Winter the sort of density that will reward attention, not to mention multiple viewings.