'The Blue Room' is an art film wannabe

'Blue' stars director and co-writer Mathieu Amalric and Stéphanie Cléau in what could have been a taut little thriller.

  • close
    'The Blue Room' stars Stéphanie Cléau (l.) and Mathieu Amalric (r.).
    Alfama Films
    View Caption
  • About video ads
    View Caption

Georges Simenon’s 1964 novel “The Blue Room” has been fashioned by co-writer, director, and star Mathieu Amalric into a moody noir that, if it were filmed less fancily, might have been a taut little thriller instead of an art film wannabe. Amalric plays Julien, a married tractor salesman who has a series of hotel trysts with the lankily sensual, enigmatic Esther (Stéphanie Cléau, who also co-wrote the screenplay). Did I mention those trysts take place in a blue room?

Amalric throws in flashbacks and flash-forwards between bedroom and courthouse (yes, there’s a murder), and I was reminded again why I prefer my noirs in the hardboiled American style rather than tricked up with all this faux Alain Resnais-style filigree. Grade: C+ (Unrated.)

Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.