Named one of People Mag's "Most Beautiful People", Charlotte Rampling gives one of her most acclaimed performances in Francois Ozon's mesmerizing tale of loss and grief. For many years, Marie and Jean have happily spent their vacations together at their country house. One day at the beach, Marie naps in the sand while Jean goes for a swim. When she awakens, he is gone. Did he drown? Did he run off? Distraught, Marie notified the authorities but after an extensive search, no body is found.
François Ozon's Under the Sand
revolves around a tender, frightening contrast not easily forgotten: the dead live on only as long as we remember them. Marie (a luminous Charlotte Rampling) and Jean (Bruno Cremer), a middle-aged couple, are on vacation. As they ready the beach house almost wordlessly, a long-standing, intense love is immediately understood. While Marie naps on the shore, Jean goes off for a swim from which he never returns. Six months later, back in her empty Paris apartment, Marie goes about her life as if Jean is still there with her, reading in bed, massaging her feet, sitting at the breakfast table. At dinner parties and lunch dates, her close friends are visibly appalled her behavior. It becomes clear that Marie's place in society is increasingly precarious with a ghost at her side: her husband's bank accounts remain frozen because no body has been identified, her lectures at the university end abruptly in silence, her untimely laughter frightens a new lover. Ozon does not manipulate the viewer with surprise endings or try to charm with gags. Instead, we are intimately drawn into Marie's refusal to let go and her awful panic as Jean begins to fade. --Fionn Meade