Under the Sand (France; 96min.)

directed by: François Ozon
starring: Charlotte Rampling; Bruno Cremer; Jocques Nolot
Sous le Sable
Diane says: "Rampling will get a best actress nom from me. A contemplative film about a middle-aged woman dealing with the death of her husband. Rampling really is superb." 4 cats
Esme says: "Under the Sand was verrrrryyyy French--which I love. I knew I wasn't going to get relief from the problem she was having--she wasn't going to meet a man who was the happy Hollywood cure for her internal strife. At least I feel like I know what happened to her husband--even if I don't know why and never will. (Sooo, French!) Anyway, the lead was gorgeous and not young and very emotional and highly educated and sexy AND had the movie wrapped around her little finger." 3 cats

Kevin says: "SAND was a very good film, but Charlotte Rampling's performance was even better. I loved the cinematography and the choice of music/musical score. The last shot is really shattering."
3 1/2 cats

Laura says: "Charlotte Rampling gives the strongest lead female performance of this year so far." 4 1/2 cats
For Laura's complete review: "http://www.reelingreviews.com/underthesand.htm"
Nathaniel T. says: "UNDER THE SAND is an interesting study of the effects that grief has on a normal person. I'm not sure I can say anything about the film that hasn't already been said better by others. All I will say is that Charlotte Rampling is marvelous, and I will surely be voting for her for Best Actress at the end of the year."
Michael says: "Charlotte Rampling is the focus of this subtle examination of a woman's unravelling psyche after her husband disappears while swimming at the beach. Her performance is magnetic. Francois Ozon's (WATER DROPS ON BURNING ROCKS) is elegant and arresting with artfully composed shots and eye-catching close-ups." 3 1/2 cats
Nathaniel says: "I just watched UNDER THE SAND and was quite impressed with it. It's a little slow in spots but it's all about mood and Francois Ozon excels at that. (I would also highly recommend his collection of short films that's out on DVD -can't remember the compilation title -sorry) Most of the adulation for this movie is based on Charlotte Rampling's fine performance as Marie, who has lost her husband inexplicably. Rampling is indeed superb, in what I'm sure was a difficult performance to pull off. You're never entirely certain as to which side of sanity she's on and if she's better off that way. Marvelous work.

The thing it made me feel oddly enough was entirely outside of the viewing experience. I kept thinking: American actresses in their 60s never get to play a real person! Marie is such a wonderful and complex character. Rampling's American peers only get to be someone's grandmother or mom. And if by some rare chance the movie is about them -then its always about aging... like oh say THE TRIP TO BOUNTIFUL or ON GOLDEN POND... as if senior citizens only have this one life experience -no variations. (The only American counterpart I can think of in terms of complexity is Ellen Burstyn's Sarah Goldfarb in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM) .Certainly the American senior actresses don't get to have a vital sex life onscreen like Rampling has here. So advice to all young actresses out there. If this is what you want to do with your life -acting I mean, and not stardom- learn a second language or two and get the hell out of America when you hit your mid 40s"
Robin says: "Rampling gives an unabashed performance as a woman on the brink of madness. The mental turmoil she undergoes is plainly evident on her face as her mind battles between denial over Jean's disappearance and acceptance of the fact. Director Francois Ozon uses the actress's exotic looks and expressive features to show the fight taking place within her mind. The actress lays it all on the line and gives a notable performance. The rest of the cast does well enough fleshing out the background, but it is Rampling's film from beginning to end." 3 1/2 cats

For Robin's complete review: "http://www.reelingreviews.com/underthesand.htm"

Tim says: "I thought the story was wonderful, and I thought that Charlotte Rampling really made the movie great. I thought the progression her character went through was amazing." 4 cats