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Marie, a professor of English literature in a Paris university, has been happily married to Jean for 25 years, although they have no children. During their summer vacations in the southwest of France, Jean leaves Marie sunbathing on the beach and goes to swim in the sea. When Marie turns back, she cannot find Jean. Has he left her? commited suicide? drowned? With no clue and no body to mourn over, Marie acts as her husband was still alive. Written by
For financial reasons, the movie was shut down for 6 months, which worked for the best for François Ozon because then he actually shot on the summer and the winter, like the movie differentiates. See more »
An honest but uneasy depiction of a woman's yearning for her dead husband.
Many film fans run screaming for the door when confronted with French film drama. It is true: a lot of them tend to be over-talkative and self indulgent. François Ozon's Sous le sable is a worthy exception. Carried almost entirely by Charlotte Rampling, this story of a woman unable to face the loss of her husband marks the return to form of a great actress. Through her sensitive handling of her character one tends to forget the effort that must have gone into depicting an intelligent woman slowly going to pieces. Ozon managed to capture the special sensuality of an older woman especially well in the erotic scenes; imagined or otherwise. It is not an easy film to watch, the subject matter too painful, but its unflinching honesty coupled with Ramplings moving performance make it more than worth-while.
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