UNDER THE SAND

Obsessive Grief

Content -2
Quality
None Light Moderate Heavy
Language        
Violence        
Sex        
Nudity        

Release Date: May 04, 2001

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Bruno
Cremer, Jacques Nolot,
Alexandra Stewart, Pierre
Vernier, & Andrée Tainsy

Genre: Psychological Drama

Audience: Adults

Rating: Not Rated

Runtime: 96 minutes

Distributor: WinStar Cinema

Director: Francois Ozon

Executive Producer:

Producer: Olivier Delbosc & Marc
Missonnier

Writer: Francois Ozon, Emmanuele
Bernheim, Marina de Van, &
Marcia Romano

Address Comments To:

Content:

(HH, L, SS, NNN, A, D, M) Humanist psychological profile; one obscenity; fornication, mostly under the sheets, & clothed masturbation fantasy; naked swimmers standing in the buff on the beach with everything shown & upper female nudity, plus full male & female upper nudity in fornication; casual drinking; smoking; and, self-denial.

Summary:

UNDER THE SAND features a pathetic woman, played by Charlotte Rampling, who obsesses over her husband, who disappeared. UNDER THE SAND is more arty than entertaining and includes graphic nudity and sexual situations.

Review:

So many obsessive women were featured in many of the movies nominated for the Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or that it could have been renamed the “Misogynist Festival.” Evidently, this perverse, neo-Freudian view of women is now the rage in European and art house movies. UNDER THE SAND features another one of these pathetic woman, Marie Drillon, played compelling by Charlotte Rampling.

UNDER THE SAND opens with Marie and her husband, Jean, heading to their country house for vacation. They have been married for 25 years and are very comfortable with each other.

The day after they arrive, they go to a deserted beach. While Marie reads, Jean goes for a swim. After quite a bit of time passes, Marie gets worried about Jean. She asks two totally nude German bathers whether or not they saw her husband. They are clueless, so she drives to the town beach and reports her husband missing to the lifeguards. Eventually, she goes to the police, who ask her if her husband was suicidal.

The story flashes forward to Marie at a dinner party in Paris thrown for her by her best friend, Amanda, played by Alexandra Stewart. To everyone’s surprise, Marie talks about her husband as if he were still alive. Amanda advises therapy and even matches her together with a publisher, Vincent.

Vincent drives Marie home and tries to kiss her. When she gets into her apartment, Jean is there - or, is this just her imagination? Slowly, the audience realizes that this is her imagination. Marie starts an affair with Vincent, but breaks it off abruptly after a night of fornication when the police call saying that they found a body in a fisherman’s net.

Marie goes to Jean’s mother to discuss Jean’s state of mind. Jean’s mother says that Jean never loved her because she couldn’t have his child. Marie is devastated, but seemingly regains her sanity for a moment. However, in the end, she retreats into her fantasy world of denial - in effect burying her head under the sand.

Charlotte Rampling has matured into a terrific actress. However, she now limits her career to small European movies. She should insist that they don’t do any nude scenes, not only for moral reasons, but also because her age is beginning to tell on her.

Francois Ozon directs a very mysterious and often suspenseful movie. He places red herrings in key scenes which keep the audience guessing. However, his pacing is very slow, giving the movie a conscious art house feel. The camerawork is sufficient but not extraordinary. The music is also forgettable.

Regrettably, there is no hope or signs of faith in UNDER THE SAND. This is a very humanistic psychological drama. Marie is so grief stricken that she has disappeared into her fantasies. Although Charlotte Rampling gives a commanding performance, it is difficult to imagine many people enjoying this decent into delusion.

Furthermore, there are several unnecessary scenes: Marie talks with two totally nude German swimmers, a man and a woman; Marie sexually fantasizes about Jean; and, Marie fornicates with Vincent several times. These scenes are not hardcore pornographic, but they are annoying and immoral.

Even though UNDER THE SAND has gotten some good reviews, it tells a story which has been told too often recently: the obsessive woman who can’t let go of the object of her desires. Regrettably, UNDER THE SAND is more arty than entertaining.

In Brief:

UNDER THE SAND opens with Marie and her husband, Jean, heading to their country house for vacation. They have been married for 25 years and are very comfortable with each other. When her husband mysteriously disappears, Marie retreats into a fantasy world of denial.

UNDER THE SAND is a very mysterious and often suspenseful movie. The pacing is very slow, giving the movie a conscious art house feel. The camerawork is sufficient, but not extraordinary, and the music is also forgettable. Regrettably, there is no hope or signs of faith in UNDER THE SAND. This is a very humanistic psychological drama. Marie is so grief stricken that she has disappeared into her fantasies. Furthermore, there are several unnecessary scenes: Marie talks with two totally nude German swimmers, a man and a woman; and, fornicates with a new acquaintance. Although Charlotte Rampling gives a commanding performance, it is difficult to imagine many people enjoying this decent into delusion. UNDER THE SAND has gotten some good reviews, but it tells a story which has been told too often recently: the obsessive woman who can’t let go of the object of her desires. Regrettably, UNDER THE SAND is more arty than entertaining