The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)

2014

The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)

Critics Consensus

The Blue Room proves a sobering study of the dark side of human nature, as well as a coolly assured directorial effort from star and co-writer Mathieu Amalric.

89%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 76

51%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,558

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

51%
Average Rating: 3.2/5

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Movie Info

Two adulterous lovers go from pillow talk to possible murder in this sexy, brain-teasing thriller. Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Grand Budapest Hotel) directs and stars as Julien, a middle-aged salesman embroiled in a steamy love affair with a married woman who, after a round of kinky sex, makes a startling suggestion. Suddenly Julien is caught up in a police investigation-but just what exactly happened? Based on a novel by celebrated crime writer Georges Simenon, this beguiling cinematic puzzle unfolds in an elliptical style that keeps the audience guessing every step of the way. (C) IFC Films

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Cast

Léa Drucker
as Delphine Gahyde
Mathieu Amalric
as Julien Gahyde
Stéphanie Cléau
as Esther Despierre
Laurent Poitrenaux
as Le juge d'instruction
Blutch
as Psychologist

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Critic Reviews for The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (32)

  • In The Blue Room, Mathieu Amalric directs and stars in an updated version of the 1964 Georges Simenon novel about adultery and death in a small town.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • Bursting with melancholy insight.

    Sep 8, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • A cool tale of sex and deception; a brief, tightly wound story whose contours only gradually become clear.

    Aug 6, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The ultimate triumph in what Amalric has done is to show us all the different forces that can be at work in an affair.

    Jan 1, 2015 | Full Review…
  • A dazzling deconstruction of the mystery genre that turns its conventions on their heads.

    Oct 31, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • If anything, it's a backhanded testimony to the plodding effectiveness of detail-minded detective work and the slow grinding of the bureaucratic justice machine.

    Oct 24, 2014 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Blue Room (La chambre bleue)

It is very hard to find something appealing in a sterile drama that plods along with a suspense devoid of tension, dull courtroom scenes and a whodunit plot that is never engaging, all without making us relate to its characters in any level, especially when they are all equally dull.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Despite the orgasmic moans and gasps in the opening frames, the sex although plentiful is understated and the nudity discreet. This film blends the qualities of classic cinema - the balletic structures of Jean Renoir; the melodrama and angst, and the anti-heroine, of the Nouvelle Vague; and the elegant twists of Hitchcock. The soundtrack of piano solo and strings recalls the accompaniment to early films. The story is of a dark side to the cinq à sept, the reputed sport of adultery, French style. Amalric has perfected the role of the passive lover, forced on his character by terrible circumstance in The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and ingrained here willingly in the psychology of the shivering Julien. Julien's paramour Mme Despierre dominates him. Of course it had to be this woman who is venal and possessive. The film unfortunately reverts to sexist stereotypes - was Simenon that simplistic? The screenplay defends vigorously the miserable wife, who seems determined to keep suffering in silence. Julien is cast as victim - his blame translates into charm. It is an old fashioned formula: the madonna, the whore, and the boy-man to be indulged. Must we have this, now that we also have existentialism and feminism? Still, women will brush aside the standard pattern, which is easy enough to put up with when laced with painterly cinematography, French style and some picturesque travelogue. The film will no doubt disappoint those hoping for pornography; you can see who they are when the lights come on, because they look embarrassed. This is not blue; rather more like a conventional pastel.

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Super Reviewer

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