Forty Shades of Blue

No, this is not a rip off of a certain best seller,but a film that came out in 2005, and deserves to be better known.

It is a slow moving – almost chlostrophobic – story about a young Russian woman who marries a wealthy American record producer much older than her, and his estranged son.  The woman, played by Dina Korzon is thin, blond, and seems constantly on edge, often seeming at a loss what to do or how to behave. We see her with her husband at an awards ceremony, but he abandons her to spend the night with another woman, leaving her to find her own company for the night, and ultimately her own way home. When his son appears,  they talk of how unhappy he is in his marriage, and she talks of how she came from a poor background, and that he should be grateful for what he has, and learn to put up with the small problems along the way. They have an affair, but he takes her advice and eventually departs with his wife.

This should be a really boring film, as not a lot really happens, but this is deceptive, because it is a subject that seems to have slipped below the radar of most film makers, that of the life of trophy wives. We assume that they are happy because they are rich, but that is up there with the notion that white people can’t sing the blues.  Happiness can be found in the poorest of communities, just as misery can be found amongst the rich, but this film goes beyond that. It is about personal power. The woman is at the mercy of her environment. she is grateful to her husband for giving her a better life, but she spends much of her time alone, and bored. The only time she seems really happy is when she is with her young son. She knows she should be happy, because she has what most people want – wealth, security, but it is clearly not enough. Not for her, not for anyone.

This is a very subtle film, and well deserved its award from the Sundance Film Festival, with brilliant performances from the three leads, Dina Korzun, Rip Torn, and Darren Burroughs.

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