Under The Sand review

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A beautifully controlled portrait of the pain of bereavement, François Ozon's fourth feature demonstrates why he's one of Europe's most exciting cinematic talents.

Marie (Charlotte Rampling) has been happily married to Jean (Bruno Cremer) for 25 years, but on a joint holiday to the west coast of France, he mysteriously disappears while swimming at sea. Returning to Paris, Marie continues her daily routine - work, the gym, seeing friends - refusing to believe that she's bereaved. After all, she still speaks to her husband and sees him in the apartment...

More emotionally affecting than some of Ozon's earlier works, Under The Sand takes us into the mind of its troubled protagonist as she attempts to deny her profound sense of grief. Overblown melodrama is eschewed in favour of a sustained mood of melancholy, water and mirror imagery abounds, and Rampling herself provides a superbly understated, expressive performance.

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