Echoes of John Cassavetes and Robert Altman abound in this muted chamber drama from US indie writer-director Ira Sachs. Set in the filmmaker's hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, it examines a love triangle between charismatic record producer Alan James (Rip Torn), his much younger Muscovite girlfriend Laura (Dina Korzun) and the patriarch's grown-up academic son Michael (Darren Burrows) from an earlier marriage. "I have a beautiful life, I don't have the right to complain," says Laura of her materially cosseted existence, yet 40 Shades Of Blue subtly reveals the solitude, fragility and hurt beneath her Dietrich-esque impassive facade. An atmospheric film of eclectic music, snatches of conversation and interior compositions that swirl around and entrap the credibly flawed characters; it's wonderfully acted by Korzun and Torn. Recommended.
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