The French invented the term "film noir" and this adaptation of a slim, forceful novel by Georges Simenon certainly boasts idenfiable noir characteristics: the femme fatale who lures an all-too willing husband away from his marriage bed; the crime of passion and miscarriage of justice that ensue, all unfolding in a slippery mosaic of ambiguous flashbacks. As the title suggests, the dominant colour is blue, not black,and Amalric’s terrific movie shifts between carnal abandon and clinical claustrophobia.
"An elegant psychological freak-out about adultery and other madness, [a] dark, delectable, shivery tale." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"The Blue Room is a story about sexual desire as an overwhelming force, incapable of being ignored or mistaken, and about the ambiguity of almost everything else: memory, language, actions and motives." Stuart Klawans, The Nation
" A great little film… It has a headlong rhythm, skittering between timeframes with the skill of a pianist nailing Prokofiev…. Everything’s told in shards, and Amalric does very well to create a sense of emotional continuum amid all the procedural detail. His own performance is fantastic, jittery and disheveled.” Tim Robey, The Daily Telegraph
Thanks to an astonishing performance by Pierre Niney that masterfully mimics the iconic designer’s impish bearing and aura of genius, Yves Saint Laurent is reborn in this suitably stylish, well-tailored biopic. Lespert doesn’t hesitate in giving this great life and grand love affair the operatic treatment it deserves.
Welcome to London’s famous National Gallery, as seen by America’s foremost observational filmmaker, Fred Wiseman (La Danse; At Berkeley). Wiseman gives us a guided tour of masterpieces by Turner, Rembrandt, Vermeer, Caravaggio and Da Vinci, but also shows what’s going on behind the scenes at one of the world’s premier art institutions.
"A great, great film. Wiseman’s technique is simple, refined, and blissfully pure. The real joy of his film is that it never needs to strain for effect; it sits back. It’s like being lulled with intelligence." Tim Robey, The Telegraph (UK)
"One of the greatest [films] I have seen all year… Magnificent… Wiseman’s touch is deft but light here, and the experience of watching National Gallery is pleasurable and immersive because he’s a wonderful storyteller. It is also unexpectedly moving." Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
"One of Wiseman’s richest and most thought-provoking films." Budd Wilkins, Slant
France, Poland, Denmark
Polish-born, UK-based filmmaker Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) returns to his native land for this evocative, resonant art film about a novice nun discovering a family secret in the 1960s. Beautifully shot in black and white, this award-winning drama has been compared to the work of Francois Truffaut and Robert Bresson.
"In a very short time, Pawlikowski’s film tells us a powerful, poignant story with fine, intelligent performances." Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"This story of faith and despair is gracefully told, its simple, uncluttered spaces and luminous black-and-white photography harking back to Robert Bresson."JR Jones, Chicago Reader
"It’s absolutely stunning, one of the year’s best films, and a fulfillment of the promise that the director has shown for so long." Oli Lyttleton, Indiewire