With its 4:3 aspect ratio and a slight running time of a little over an hour, The Blue Room feels somewhat like an over-achieving episode of Tales of the Unexpected. It's not that it isn't cinematic - the visuals are consciously gorgeous. In addition, and as you'd expect from an actor-director of Amalric's pedigree, the performances are brilliant throughout and Mathieu himself has a wonderful eye for the telling tick and/or the revealing gesture. So focused is the story that some audience members may even leave still in some doubt as to what actually just happened. The Blue Room is a pen portrait of an imperfect crime and its repercussions, a stylish thriller only limited by the paucity of its ambition. Whereas Hetzel's score is full of symphonic richness, Amalric's film is in fact a five-finger exercise in culpability, duplicity and death.
The 67th Cannes Film Festival takes place from 14-25 May 2014. For more Cannes coverage, simply follow this link.