Killing Me Softly is a 2003 American erotic thriller directed by Chen Kaige and starring Heather Graham and Joseph Fiennes. Based on the novel of the same name by Nicci French (pen name of Nicci Gerrard and Sean French), it introduces several substantial changes to the story and focuses heavily on the intense sexual relationship between the two lead characters, including several nude scenes. A voice over describes how the brain begins to shut down at an altitude of 20,000 feet, the human body unable to survive at such heights. A mountaineering group is shown climbing a cliff face in the snow, until an avalanche causes the rigging to break and they fall to their deaths. Alice (Graham) is a young American woman from the flat lands living in London who believes she is happy in a secure job and a relationship with her live-in boyfriend. After a chance encounter with a mysterious stranger (Fiennes), she seeks him out and the two end up in the backyard having fast and sensuous sex. She returns home to her boyfriend, unsuccessfully attempting to bring out the same feelings between them she had with her stranger.