Forty Shades of Blue (USA; 108 min.)

directed by: Ira Sachs
starring: Rip Torn; Dina Korzun; Darren E. Burrows
Forty Shades of Blue

Chris says: "A surprise Sundance Grand Jury Prize winner, this film from director Ira Sachs (THE DELTA) is also firmly entrenched in the music industry, specifically Memphis’. Alan (Rip Torn) is a veteran white jazz/blues musician. His estranged son, Michael (Darren E. Burrows) returns home to attend a ceremony where his father is receiving a lifetime achievement award. Michael soon bonds with Laura (Dina Korzun), his father's young Russian lover with whom Alan has a three-year-old son.

"That’s pretty much the plot of this often quiet, tremendously subtle, European-feeling character study. It arrived at a predictable conclusion, but the way it got there is what kept me awake. I was less taken by the main narrative and more by the many incidental scenes that end up painting an intricate portrait of this particular community (something THE DELTA also did very well). Burrows doesn’t have the range to pull his crucial part off, but Torn is well-cast as a towering figure who’s alternately a volatile beast and a loving pussycat. It’s Korzun, however, who really carries this film’s weight—see it chiefly for her. 3.5 cats"