Cannes 2014: The Blue Room
What starts off as mildly interesting ends up being nauseatingly dull in Mathieu Amalric‘s The Blue Room. Julien (Amalric) is a married man, with one daughter, who was something of a player back in the old days. When one of the women he somehow skipped over shows up in his life again, Esther (Stephanie Cleau), the two begin an 11-month affair. But when Esther’s rich husband Nicolas ends up dead, the two are immediately suspected of the possible crime, even though the husband’s health was poor and his death didn’t shock any of the doctors. Did they do it? What happened to Julien’s wife? What’s all the mystery about? These are the questions Amalric is desperately asking with lavish music, pseudo-psychadelic camera angles, visually appealing colors, and little symbolic trinkets in the forms of bees and red towels. Regrettably, the only question you’ll end up asking yourself is “Who cares?” The lack of character development leaves you feeling detached from just about everyone, which means that the film’s sole flag bearer is the suspense and the mystery. Once that gets derailed you’re left with a half-measured attempt at some kind of Lynchian perspective of the obsessed female, a notion with a pungently misogynist stink to it. Avoid.