Forty Shades of Blue Reviews
September 19, 2011
A cantankerous music star's son visits for an awards ceremony then has an affair with his father's young wife.
The highlight of this film is Dina Korzun's morose and oftentimes inscrutable performance; the few moments when her vulnerability shows through - crying in bed after having sex with her husband as an example - are captivating. The film's success, aside from her performance, is the mere creation of a mood, a consistent melancholy that becomes overbearing at times.
Indeed, I thought the film was often too morose, too languid. And Rip Torn's character - not necessarily a fault to his performance - was inconsistent. For the first half of the film, he is an indomitable and harsh force, but he suddenly becomes human in the second act, and what once was reminiscent of James Coburn in Affliction turns into a gnarly mess of storytelling. And it can shove its freeze-frame ending up its ass.
Overall, Forty Shades of Blue is a performance-driven art film that has damning inconsistencies.
June 27, 2013
The film gets caught up in its own sadness. You appreciate the effort to bring out strong emotions but without any corresponding high, it ends up losing the audience.
January 26, 2007
Fabulous little indie film that concentrates on the kind of character who you usually only glimpse and then forget about in most films: in this case a Russian lover to a much older American man. The performances from Dina Korzun, Rip Torn and Darren Burrows are all Oscar worthy, and the film won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance. The photography is superb too - this is well worth a look and I can't wait for Ira Sachs next film...
October 6, 2011
Decent film elevated to a whole new level by an amazing performance by Rip Torn.
March 20, 2008
This film was a part of my Darren Burrows research and another reason why it is so hard to be good at something twice. Rip Torn is an interesting actor. The film was blah.
November 14, 2006
[font=Book Antiqua][color=black]FORTY SHADES OF BLUE tells the story of Laura, a young Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock 'n roll legend, and the personal awakening she experiences in the wake of her unfortunate affair with his estranged son.[/color][/font]
[font=Trebuchet MS][size=3]Extremely slow paced. Decent acting, unfortunatly none of the charactors very likeable or interesting. :o [/size][/font]
June 26, 2006
A few movies I saw this week, mostly rentals:
[b]Never Been Thawed[/b]
Horrible. All attempts to humor fall flat. Misguided attempt. Avoid!!!
[b]Forty Shades of Blue[/b]
Better and more moving than I expected. Great performances.
[b]Raiders of the Lost Ark[/b]
Saw it again on video. It's as great as it was 25 years ago. Fun for the whole family.
Complex and well written, but often confusing. Great acting all through.
November 7, 2005
Alan James (Rip Torn) is a legendary music producer living the good life in Memphis. He shares his home with his pretty young Russian girlfriend, Laura, who he met on a business trip to Moscow, and their 3-year-old son. Alan openly cheats on Laura and Laura puts up with it. She also puts up with the fact that Alan is a heavy drinking loudmouthed demanding lout, though cheating aside, he's generally fairly nice to her when he's not totally ignoring her.
Alan is to be feted at some sort of an awards dinner and his grown son Michael flies in for the occasion, leaving his pregnant wife home alone. Michael and Alan don't have a particularly close relationship. Michael claims that he respects Alan as a man despite the fact that he's always been a lousy father.
Michael has never met Laura before and is initially rather cold to her. Soon, though, Michael and Laura are drawn together by virtue of the fact that they both have to put up with Alan, whose mega-personality tends to dwarf each of their own. Though there's a definite attraction between them, Laura wisely rebuffs Michael's first move. Although she's clearly not happy with Alan, she claims that her life is better than the life of anyone she's ever known. She doesn't need perfection; Americans are too spoiled.
Well you know it won't be long before lust trumps common sense. Soon Laura and Michael are checking into a hotel together and we've got the makings of a full-fledged filial love triangle. You've got to wonder, just what are these people thinking? Michael, Michael, Michael... Laura is your FATHER'S GIRLFRIEND. She's your HALF-BROTHER'S MOTHER. No matter how hot she is, don't you think sleeping with her is just a little bit creepy??? Eeeww??? Don't you think???
I guess not.
As if things aren't complicated enough already, then Michael's pregnant wife decides to fly in for some big shindig Alan is throwing. So now we've got two love triangles glued together at the base to form a messy love rhombus. And those are never good. But there you have it.
I really liked the character of Laura, a stoic woman of few words (perhaps because English is her second language) who seems to have convinced herself that she can endure her lonely life as Alan's occasional plaything without doing any real harm to her psyche. Rip Torn is also good as the blustery Alan, but even though he may have top billing, the film really revolves around Laura.
This is one of those movies that starts a lot stronger than it finishes. The home stretch includes a couple of scenes that left me scratching my head in puzzlement and the ending is less than satisfying. But still. I didn't love it but I liked it. I would've given it a 6.5 if fractions weren't eschewed in tomatoville.