Under The Sand

Under The Sand

Director: François Ozon

Cast: Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer, Jacques Nolot

     
 
Noted French filmmaker François Ozon directs this drama about personal loss and resilience. Marie (Charlotte Rampling) is deeply in love with her husband, Jean (Bruno Cremer). One day while vacationing at the seashore, Jean disappears into the ocean. A distraught Marie notifies the authorities, but sadly, they find no trace of her beloved husband. Later, back in Paris

Overview

Noted French filmmaker François Ozon directs this drama about personal loss and resilience. Marie (Charlotte Rampling) is deeply in love with her husband, Jean (Bruno Cremer). One day while vacationing at the seashore, Jean disappears into the ocean. A distraught Marie notifies the authorities, but sadly, they find no trace of her beloved husband. Later, back in Paris, Marie attends a dinner party hosted by her friend Amanda (Alexandra Stewart); over the course of dinner, it emerges that Marie and Jean had been married for 25 years. Marie speaks of Jean as if he were still alive, something that disturbs Amanda's fellow dinner guests, and after she is driven home by Vincent (Jacques Nolot), another guest, Marie sees Jean in her apartment and at breakfast the next morning. It quickly becomes apparent that Marie's imagination enables her to go along in life as if nothing happened to Jean, but as she slowly becomes involved with Vincent, she begins to cope with the fact that she is in fact living on her own.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble
What do you do when someone you love simply vanishes? It’s a question that has gained particular, painful relevance in light of September 11th, and one that is examined deeply -- and on a determinedly small scale -- in François Ozon’s Under the Sand. Marie (the still stunning 70’s icon Charlotte Rampling) and Jean (Bruno Cremer) are a blissfully married middle-aged French couple. Their love is palpable, their lives perfect. On a beach vacation, as Marie dozes on the sand, Jean goes for a swim and never returns. Even long after he’s gone, Marie refuses to accept his absence and continues to check with him about everything from what she’s wearing to what he thinks of the lover she eventually takes. This borderline-obsessive clinging to a dead partner has been covered before -- notably with touching good humor in Truly, Madly, Deeply and with a full and effective dose of Hollywood hokum in Ghost. But here, Ozon temporarily abandons his position as the bad boy of French cinema and treats the subject with a burnished, stately pace, willing to go further than any of his predecessors -- even into the realm of madness -- in his search for the meaning to be found in absence. With the help of the always riveting Rampling, Under the Sand makes a lasting impression on the viewer as it delves into the deepest waters of communication, love, commitment, and grief.
All Movie Guide
Sous le Sable belongs to Charlotte Rampling. Delivering a commanding, devastating, and nuanced performance, Rampling portrays Marie Drillon, a middle-aged professor who goes through an emotional roller coaster after the sudden disappearance of her husband. Rampling beautifully handles Marie's various transformations, making it appear outwardly as if she is coping with reality, while inwardly she is collapsing. The writing occasionally lets Rampling down -- the story's twists and turns eventually strain credibility, the scenes do not always work to their fullest potential, and the forced ambiguity of the ending is unnecessary. Still, director Francois Ozon also makes some strong choices. For instance, allowing the audience to see Jean when Marie sees him helps viewers to identify with her. And in Marie's encounter with Jean's mother Suzanne, the subtle hatred between the two women slowly escalates, nearly reaching a stage of vitriol at the end. Ozon also confidently handles such tricky and potentially cliché-ridden scenes as Marie's visit to her husband's study, which could have been heavy-handed but instead is quite moving, and Marie's first time making love to someone other than Jean. Bruno Cremer also turns in a sensitive, almost silent performance as Jean, but this is ultimately Charlotte Rampling's film.
Village Voice - Amy Taubin
And, of course, it's the coming of old age written on Rampling's once flawless face and body -- the slight sag under the chin, the softened line of the shoulder. What makes this film so different from, for example, Truly, Madly, Deeply or the infinitely more maudlin Ghost is that the heroine is not a young woman. But since, as we well know, beauty is more than skin deep, Rampling has never been as beautiful, not to mention as emotionally naked, nuanced, and affecting as she is here. It's no slight to Ozon's direction to say that the virtue of the film is its minimalism -- the fact that it can be reduced to the relationship between camera and actress.
New York Times - A.O. Scott
[T]he common human experience of grief becomes intoxicatingly, sometimes comically strange. There is something reminiscent of Hitchcock in the way Mr. Ozon keeps his audience, and his characters, slightly off balance and also in the way he deploys music - Philippe Rombi's spiky, melancholy score, as well as selections from Dvorak, Mahler and Chopin - to signal emotions trembling beneath the polished visual surface.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/27/2001
UPC:
0720917530628
Original Release:
2000
Rating:
NR
Source:
Fox Lorber
Presentation:
[Wide Screen]
Sound:
[Dolby Digital, stereo]
Time:
1:35:00

Special Features

Interactive menus; Scene access; Filmographies; Theatrical trailer; Optional subtitles: English/Spanish; Interview with Charlotte Rampling; Audio commentary with Français Ozon; 16:9 Anamorphic Transfer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Charlotte Rampling Marie Drillon
Bruno Cremer Jean Drillon
Jacques Nolot Vincent
Alexandra Stewart Amanda
Pierre Vernier Gerard
Andrée Tainsy Suzanne

Technical Credits
François Ozon Director,Screenwriter
Jean-Luc Audy Sound/Sound Designer
Hubert Barbin Asst. Director
Antoinette Boulat Casting
Marina de Van Screenwriter
Olivier Delbosc Producer
Antoine Héberlé Cinematographer
Benoit Hillebrant Sound/Sound Designer
Jean-Pierre Laforce Sound/Sound Designer
Jeanne Lapoirie Cinematographer
Marc Missonnier Producer
Philippe Rombi Score Composer

Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Access
1. Vacation [10:18]
2. Disappeared [9:18]
3. Dinner Party [4:59]
4. A Dream? [3:31]
5. Familiar Face [4:14]
6. Dinner Date [6:16]
7. Dream & Denial [3:22]
8. Tryst [8:01]
9. Police Message [8:10]
10. Surprise [4:50]
11. Affair's End [:03]
12. Cruel Truth [9:44]
13. The Morgue [3:36]
14. Breakdown [8:04]

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