Ozon's film crackles with sound, as if he wove a small microphone into the bristles of a brush traveling through hair and affixed another to the underside of a piece of toast being scraped by a butter knife, intensifying the offhand reverberations of everyday life to underscore Marie's psychological departure from it. And it's her departure that calls attention to the movie's unnerving central issues: When tragedy has struck but the final outcome remains even remotely in question, how long do we hold out for a miraculous resolution before moving on? And is it even possible to do so?
Rampling carries "Under The Sand" with her assured turn as the dolefully loyal Marie, whose sometime indignant refusal to face facts and obvious fear of letting go elicit both intense pity and fist-shaking frustration. She's an understandably shaken woman who possesses all the facilities to recover from such a wrenching blow, but in her distress obstinately refuses to take the necessary steps toward healing. Starring Charlotte Rampling, Bruno Cremer and Jacques Nolot. Directed by Francois Ozon. Written by Francois Ozon, Emmanuele Bernheim, Marina De Van and Marcia Romano. Produced by Olivier Delbosc and Marc Missonnier. A Winstar release. Drama. French-language; subtitled. Not yet rated. Running time: 96 min.