Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I Am His Wife, And I'm Telling You, This Is Not Him!

Woah. So, when I decide to give myself some sort of semblance of a life for a few days, everything falls to shit. As of last Wednesday, I was actually one film ahead of my schedule. Not anymore! I'm now five (count 'em) behind, and the assumes I watch one today (which I obviously will.)

But in the meantime, a quick write up on Francois Ozon's 2000 picture Under The Sand. I say quick mostly because it just didn't affect me much, so I don't feel I have that much to say about it. 

Charlotte Rampling plays Marie, a woman who goes on holiday to her seaside house with her long-term and dearly loved husband Jean (Bruno Cremer.) When he suddenly goes missing in the sea, presumed dead, she outwardly appears unable to accept the fact, going on referring to him in the present tense (not only in the kind of acceptable mixed sense of 'my husband enjoyed classical music', rendering him her current husband [which I guess is probably technically true] whilst acknowledging that he is no longer capable of enjoying, well, anything, but more in the sense of 'my husband is waiting at home with a glass of wine and a roast dinner.' Cray-cray shit, really), refusing to identify his body at the morgue, spending his money like he was still earning it, randomly breaking down during her workday, and simultaneously carrying on a new relationship with another man, who knows that Jean is dead but plays along with her ruse.

A lot has been made of Rampling's performance, and it is good, but I just don't think it is that mindblowing. It's a simple, slow-burner of a film, without any major emotional climaxes that could be expected of a film along these lines, and she plays it very well. She does seem to inhabit this tortured self-denial whilst attempting to maintain an air of dignity and grace around her grief. But I found it all just a little blah. A little safe, a little boring. Everyone playing along with her... did none of her friends and associates, of who we come into contact quite a few, think that she might actually be causing herself more harm, and push her harder to get help? Marie seemed to be floating randomly and helplessly through space, occasionally having her path slightly distorted by the weak magnetism of someone she knew, but they always pulled back before really changing her trajectory. And that made it a little boring.

So, not that enamoured. 2.5 stars.

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