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3.4
60 Ratings

Forty Shades of Blue

Directed by Ira Sachs
United States, 2005
Drama, Romance, Music

Synopsis

Alan James, a legend of Memphis music production, lives with Laura, a Russian beauty. He has a grown-up son, Michael, with whom he has a complicated relationship. When Michael returns home the initial hostility he radiates towards his father’s ‘girl’ develops into something much more.

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Forty Shades of Blue Directed by Ira Sachs

Awards & Festivals

Sundance Film Festival

2005 | Winner: Grand Jury Prize (Dramatic Competition)

Independent Spirit Awards

2006 | Nominee: Best Female Lead

The misjudgement seems glaring only because the movie has observed at all other times the rule of ‘show, not tell’ – and sometimes there isn’t even any showing… The picture concentrates instead on the moments of intimacy or isolation that these characters experience in their compartmentalised lives.
June 01, 2006
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Sachs doesn’t make “scenes.” He sets up his characters and follows them carefully, the way Antonioni does; the editing is smooth and almost invisible. There’s nothing self-conscious or derivative about Sachs’ style. Forty Shades is not a movie about other movies, like so many of the most ambitious films of the past ten years. Sachs has something to say and as an artist he is using film to say it; he remains dedicated to a humanist investigation of overlooked people.
November 01, 2005
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The bits of background business that would pose difficulties for many filmmakers—random phone conversations and work interactions, the extroverted demonstrations of affection among the musicians, the amiably alcoholic tone of Memphian social gatherings—are inventive and spontaneous. One wonders how Sachs blends scripting and improvisation to arrive at this pleasing fiction-documentary amalgam.
October 27, 2005
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