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The Blue Room

An affair grows messy in this French melodrama

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The Blue Room, French melodrama

In a small town, a family man (Mathieu Amalric) engages in a series of assignations with a woman (Stéphanie Cléau), also married, and their affair precipitates a number of increasingly unfortunate events. Amalric directs this lean tale of sexual obsession and unforeseen consequences in a jigsaw fashion, shifting back and forth in time, and from several perspectives. It's a slow-burner, but the slow reveal of background and characters keeps the intrigue viable. For instance, the cops are involved, but has there even been a crime? Alas, the mystery is better than the solution, and the film's conclusion — more of a psychological a-ha than a judicial wrap-up — fails to satisfy as it should.

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