Forty Shades of Blue (2005)

R  |   |  Drama, Music, Romance  |  7 December 2005 (France)
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Ratings: 6.0/10 from 1,144 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 26 user | 38 critic | 16 from

A Russian woman living in Memphis with a much older rock-'n'-roll legend experiences a personal awakening when her husband's estranged son comes to visit.


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1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Darren E. Burrows ...
Michael James (as Darren Burrows)
Andrew Lawrence Henderson ...
Sam James (as Andrew Henderson)
Cindy, Babysitter (as Liz Morton)
Arielle Kight ...
J. Blackfoot ...
Gena (as Mary Jean McAdams)
Charly Kayle ...
J. Allen Scott ...
Press Photographer
Earl Randle ...
Old Timer


Wealthy music producer Alan James lives with his beautiful Russian girlfriend Laura, thirty years younger than him, whom he met while he was in Russia on business. They have a three-year-old son. Alan is a music legend, having produced black music during the 60's and 70's, the golden era of Memphis Soul. They live an affluent life in a sprawling mansion on the banks of the Mississippi in Memphis, Tennessee. But, although she is comfortable, Laura feels lonely and isolated. Alan has an estranged adult son from a previous marriage, Michael, a literature professor, who is married and lives with his wife in Los Angeles. Michael and his father have a complicated relationship that is marred by disappointment, hampered by jealousy, and fueled by anger. When Michael returns home to Memphis for the first time in many years, although he had at first disapproved of his father's young girlfriend, a painful and dangerous love affair develops between him and Laura, his contemporary. As this ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 December 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

40 Tons de Azul  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$1,500,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Featured in 2006 Independent Spirit Awards (2006) See more »


Written by Terry Hanck
Performed by Tracy Nelson
Courtesy of Relentless/ Nashville - Eclectic Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Vain, Dull, Stupid. . . Excruciating!
10 October 2005 | by (New York, NY) – See all my reviews

As several other reviewers pointed out, the principle theme of this film was boredom without redemption, and that's precisely what the viewer experiences. However it does succeed in what seems to be its intent: to show the unrelenting misery and suffocating dullness of its main character's life. . . a good dose of intravenously administered sodium pentathol would have helped the viewer survive this. However, without the aid of drugs, the effect is one of acute claustrophobia and overwhelming apathy as it pertains to the development of the characters. Add to this the endlessly dismal and muddy camera work, and you end up with 107 minutes of wasted film stock. I saw this at the Film Forum here in NYC, famous for the patience of its audience, and for the first time in my memory at this venue viewers were walking out before the end. In one of the few seminal lines of this bomb, the Russian character Laura remarks with exasperation that "Americans are so Spoiled!" Indeed they are. That Ira Sachs was somehow able to obtain the money to produce and distribute this dreary nonsense masquerading as emotional insight was an extreme and unforgivable indulgence on the part of some misguided benefactor.

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