Ruby Blue review

Wringing every drop of despair from her windswept beach town setting, Jay Dunn’s Ruby Blue brims with passion, but lacks narrative gumption. ‘Grumpy’ Jack (Bob Hoskins) is a solitary widower. When he innocently befriends some neighbouring rugrats, he’s accused of being a paedophile. Then an exotic older French femme (Josiane Balasko) reveals a striking, and unrelenting, interest in him. But what’s her secret? In her first English-language film, Balasko is magnetic as Stephanie, matching Hoskins’ well-trodden alkie loser routine with a wine-guzzling, chain-smoking glee. Sadly, what opens as an apparent Mike Leigh-style meditation on grief and loneliness soon evolves into a cluttered commentary on yob/chav culture. Dunn trips in her desperation for a happy ending, rendering Ruby oddly dippy and inconsequential. Big in heart, small in kahunas.

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