'The Blue Room' is an art film wannabe

( Unrated ) ( Monitor Movie Guide )

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

Alfama Films
'The Blue Room' stars Stéphanie Cléau (l.) and Mathieu Amalric (r.).

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.)

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.

QR Code to 'The Blue Room' is an art film wannabe
Read this article in
QR Code to Subscription page
Start your subscription today