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Under the Sand (2000)
"Sous le sable" (original title)

Unrated  |   |  Drama, Mystery  |  4 May 2001 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 6,496 users   Metascore: 86/100
Reviews: 66 user | 79 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

When her husband goes missing at the beach, a female professor begins to mentally disintegrate as her denial of his disappearance becomes delusional.

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(scenario and dialogue), (collaboration), 2 more credits »
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Title: Under the Sand (2000)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Bruno Cremer ...
Jean Drillon
...
Vincent
Alexandra Stewart ...
Amanda
Pierre Vernier ...
Gérard
Andrée Tainsy ...
Suzanne
Maya Gaugler ...
German woman
Damien Abbou ...
Chief lifeguard
David Portugais ...
Young lifeguard
Pierre Soubestre ...
Policeman
Agathe Teyssier ...
In charge of luxury store
Laurence Martin ...
Apartment seller
Jean-François Lapalus ...
Paris doctor
Laurence Mercier ...
Paris doctor's secretary
Fabienne Luchetti ...
Pharmacist
Edit

Storyline

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 Loic Henry-Greard

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Can love vanish without a trace?

Genres:

Drama | Mystery

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

4 May 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Under the Sand  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$32,657 (USA) (4 May 2001)

Gross:

$1,450,106 (USA) (8 March 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Marie Drillon: I am his wife, and I'm telling you, this is *not* him!
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Look (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Prélude Opus 28 en si mineur - lento assai
Music by Frédéric Chopin (as F. Chopin)
Performed by Philippe Rombi
Studio d'enregistrement et mixage : Studio Davout
Mixage : Stéphane Reichart (as Stéphane Reichard)
© (p) 2000 Fidéritlé Productions
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Requires settling in and brooding, and watching Rampling slowly adjust and consider love and death
6 February 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Under the Sand (2000)

The plot is simple, almost too simple, and because very little happens, it depends on mood and deeply serious thinking about death to survive. And on Charlotte Rampling to have the nuance and range to pull it off.

And it works, overall, because of just those two things: heavy subject and Rampling. There are issues (and tricks, cinematically) with ghosts and memories, but these play small against the bigger strain of the lead woman dealing with this sudden trauma in her life. Even though the main event in the movie happens at the start, I don't dare mention it because its surprise is important (I didn't know it was coming, and liked the way it was handled very much).

Director Francois Ozon never seems to quite nail down the pace and editing of his films, at least for American sensibilities. Even the sensationally complex Swimming Pool doesn't quite use its material to propel us in every scene. But let's turn that on its head and say that Ozon uses emptiness and gaps in the action to give his movies breathing room, or maybe, in some old fashioned sense, the make them serious. When nothing is "happening" you can only start to think and dwell on the events, along with the characters. In Under the Sand there is nothing else to do and yet it's exactly what Rampling in her role has to do: think and dwell. It's slow at times, yes, but only if you don't let yourself relax and get absorbed.

And, like the character, confuse what is real from what is chimera, and what she needs with what she once had, and even one man from another. Even her fluid bi-lingual abilities add to the duality. By the time you get to the final scene you are left wondering what true love really is, and whether it's worth it. Because maybe it is. She has something most people do not, and it seems like a sickness and a gift at once.


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