Missy Schwartz
October 03, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

The Blue Room

type
Stage
Current Status
In Season

We gave it a B+

A drop of blood falls onto a pristine white sheet. It’s not the subtlest of images to trot out in the first five minutes of your film, but as foreshadowing, it gets the job done. An adaptation of a 1964 Georges Simenon novel, this lean French thriller stars Mathieu Amalric (who also directed and co-wrote the screenplay) as Julien, a husband and papa whose dangerous extramarital liaison ends with him looking shellshocked at the police station. What’s he accused of? We don’t find out until 34 minutes in. The teasing pace creates a noirish tension that, alas, peters out by the time the justice system decides Julien’s fate. B+

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