A woman who has drifted away from her boyfriend's affections finds love in the arms of his son in this independent drama. Laura (Dina Korzun) is an attractive woman in her early thirties who was living in her native Russia when she met Alan James (Rip Torn), a legendary music producer from Memphis. Alan brought Laura back to the United States and moved in with her, but now that the couple have a three-year-old son, Laura finds herself a stranger in the city she now calls home and is growing increasingly distant from the philandering Alan. After a testimonial tribute to Alan, Laura meets his grown son Michael (Darren E. Burrows) for the first time; Michael has a difficult and sometimes combative relationship with Alan and prefers to keep a distance from him and his life, but Michael and Laura find they quickly develop a strong rapport. Laura and Michael's friendship soon grows into an affair, but as Laura considers her unhappiness with Alan, she also feels guilty about betraying a man who has given her a life she would hardly have dared to dream of when she was younger. Forty Shades of Blue was helmed by Ira Sachs (who earned enthusiastic reviews for his 1997 debut feature The Delta), from a script he co-wrote with Michael Rohatyn. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi
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As with his earlier "The Delta," Ira Sacks has again created another movie--FORTY SHADES OF BLUE--that offers interesting visuals, a pretty good premise & a lot of "mood." But then his screenwriting disabilities trip him up. He's only co-screenwriter here, but the result is all too similar: dialog that veers uncomfortably between naturalistic, "method" stuff & soap opera. Only bored & boring "screen" characters sound anything like this, with little original or interesting to say, and no discernible "character" through which to say it. The result is enervating in the extreme. Pinch yourself to stay awake. Some of our better critics seem to have embraced this movie, perhaps because of Rip Torn's performance--which is fine as far as it goes, but there's little opportunity here, for him or anyone else. Darren Burrows is attractive as Torn's son & Dina Korzun ("Last Resort") speaks English with a charming, Russian lilt. The music is quite good; some of us might have been happier with a CD.