Review: Under the Sand (2000)

Charlotte Rampling gives a performance of quiet intensity as a grieving widow whose failure to come to terms with her husband’s death threatens her sanity.

Marie (Rampling) wakes from a nap on the beach to discover her husband has disappeared, almost certainly drowned in the ocean. Time moves on but Marie doesn’t. With friends, she speaks of her husband in the present tense. At home, she sees and talks to him. Even the prospect of a new relationship fails to jar Marie out of her state of denial.

The film is calm, quiet and matter of fact, with a dreamlike layer over it all that perfectly captures the surreality of life after death. Rampling carries the weight of the film. Her performance is solid and believable, a fascinating glimpse into personal grief through observation rather than exposition, free of overly wrought drama or hysterical breakdowns. [**** out of 5]

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