Under The Sand

**1/2

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

A study in grief, using magic realism, seems metaphorically top heavy.

When Marie's husband, Jean, disappears from a beach when on holiday, it is assumed that he has drowned.

She returns to Paris, continues lecturing at the university and talks about him in the present tense, as if nothing has happened. At home, in the apartment, he is there.

This fashion for ghosts makes it easier for directors to get inside the heads of those left behind. It didn't happen in Three Colours Blue, which is why Kieslowski's work is so much stronger.

Francois Ozon's subject is denial. Marie and Jean have been married over 25 years. She is in her fifties. Without him, her confidence melts, which is why she needs the illusion of his physical presence beside her, even when making love to another man.

She cannot move on, which leaves the film in limbo.

Charlotte Rampling has the unenviable task of putting a brave face on loneliness and allowing misery to compromise her good looks. Vulnerability is seen to be naked. You want to hand her a robe.

Reviewed on: 19 Apr 2001
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Under The Sand packshot
A widow in denial about her husband's death, imagines he is still at home.
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Director: Francois Ozon

Writer: Francois Ozon, Emmanuele Bernheim, Marina De Van, Marcia Romano

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Jacques Nolot, Alexandra Stewart

Year: 2000

Runtime: 95 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: France

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