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Cannes Review: Mathieu Amalric's Elegant And Airless ‘The Blue Room’

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • May 26, 2014 12:45 PM
  • |
La Chambre Bleue
Presenting a compelling argument about the dangers of lovers’ chit-chat in a state of post-coital distraction, Mathieu Amalric’s latest directorial outing “The Blue Room” marks the French actor/filmmaker’s return to Cannes (though to the Un Certain Regard section) after “On Tour,” his last film, surprised many by winning him the Best Director prize in 2010. “The Blue Room,” based on a novel by popular Belgian crime writer George Simenon, is a very different affair from the burlesque baubles of “On Tour,” though, working in a far more controlled, contained register, and delivering a film in which the intentional mood of claustrophobia sometimes feels more like unintentionally choked, strained filmmaking. It’s a meticulous and tightly coiled cautionary tale, but it’s hard to imagine any of its characters having life outside the narrow confines of its stagy plot, or the edges of its carefully composed frames.

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