In Forty Shades of Blue
, writer/director Ira Sachs takes three archetypes--temperamental artist, trophy wife, and brooding writer--and turns them into real people. Alan (Rip Torn, The Larry Sanders Show
), producer of numerous R&B hits, is a Memphis legend in the Sam Phillips mold. On a trip to Russia a few years ago, he met the much younger Laura (Dina Korzun, Last Resort
), who became his common-law wife. They had a child. It should be a good life, except fidelity is not part of Alan's vocabulary. Michael (Darren Burrows, Northern Exposure
), adult son from one of his many previous marriages, is an English teacher and aspiring author. When Michael travels from LA for a rare visit, he quickly realizes it's easier to talk to Laura than to his own father--or even his own wife, who decides to join him later. The more Alan, who perceives himself as a man of action, ignores Laura and belittles the introspective Michael, however, the closer they become. But how much of their attraction is based on lust and how much is based on a mutual desire to get back at the larger-than-life hitmaker for his misdeeds? Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, Forty Shades of Blue
may sound like soap opera, but in the patient, attentive hands of Sachs (The Delta
), it never plays like it. Alan, Michael, and Laura are neither heroes nor villains; just three lonely people trapped in self-contained worlds of their own creation. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Ira Sachs directs this tense family drama. Legendary music producer Alan James (Rip Torn) made his fortune in the 1960s and 1970s and now lives comfortably in semi-retirement with his young Russian girlfriend Laura (Dina Korzun). Laura feels bored and lonely in Alan's Mississippi mansion, but when Alan's estranged son Michael (Darren E. Burrows) comes to visit, she finds herself embarking on a strange and dangerous love affair with him. While Alan and Michael try to sort out their own difficult relationship, Laura begins to confront her own choices and desires in a way that will change her life forever.