The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)2014
The Blue Room (La chambre bleue) (2014)
Critic Consensus: The Blue Room proves a sobering study of the dark side of human nature, as well as a coolly assured directorial effort from star and co-writer Mathieu Amalric.
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Critic Reviews for The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)
In The Blue Room, Mathieu Amalric directs and stars in an updated version of the 1964 Georges Simenon novel about adultery and death in a small town.
An unfolding police investigation leaves us guessing until the final moment just what exactly happened when an illicit love affair turned bad.
On the evidence here, former Bond villain Amalric is every bit as accomplished a director as he is an actor.
Taut, tense and teasing, this fascinating exercise in screen storytelling keeps viewers guessing whether the prime suspect might just be a victim.
Audience Reviews for The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)
It is very hard to find something appealing in a sterile drama that plods along with a suspense devoid of tension, dull courtroom scenes and a whodunit plot that is never engaging, all without making us relate to its characters in any level, especially when they are all equally dull.
Despite the orgasmic moans and gasps in the opening frames, the sex although plentiful is understated and the nudity discreet. This film blends the qualities of classic cinema - the balletic structures of Jean Renoir; the melodrama and angst, and the anti-heroine, of the Nouvelle Vague; and the elegant twists of Hitchcock. The soundtrack of piano solo and strings recalls the accompaniment to early films. The story is of a dark side to the cinq à sept, the reputed sport of adultery, French style. Amalric has perfected the role of the passive lover, forced on his character by terrible circumstance in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and ingrained here willingly in the psychology of the shivering Julien. Julien's paramour Mme Despierre dominates him. Of course it had to be this woman who is venal and possessive. The film unfortunately reverts to sexist stereotypes - was Simenon that simplistic? The screenplay defends vigorously the miserable wife, who seems determined to keep suffering in silence. Julien is cast as victim - his blame translates into charm. It is an old fashioned formula: the madonna, the whore, and the boy-man to be indulged. Must we have this, now that we also have existentialism and feminism? Still, women will brush aside the standard pattern, which is easy enough to put up with when laced with painterly cinematography, French style and some picturesque travelogue. The film will no doubt disappoint those hoping for pornography; you can see who they are when the lights come on, because they look embarrassed. This is not blue; rather more like a conventional pastel.
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