Celluloid Dreams The Directors Label

   

Beautiful… Passionate, complicated, bursting with life.
THE NEW YORK TIMES

Ira Sachs’ ostensibly sensational narrative is muted through a quietly observational aesthetic, such that emotional states resonate more palpably than any single event
INDIEWIRE

Moving domestic drama…Sachs has a gift for capturing agony.
TIME OUT

Slow, sad, restrained – and remarkable….it gets under your skin, and its analysis of a relationship falling apart is almost Bergmanesque. One awaits Sachs’s future work eagerly.
THE TELEGRAPH
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The director continuously steps away from his main narrative line to linger on the peripheral, multicolored faces that populate the city, capturing snippets of their conversation and thus suggesting, or perhaps insisting, that there will always be more stories to tell. A triumph of insightful humanism, these interludes serve yet another purpose: in their heady swirl of feeling and vitality they become the literal living bars on the central character’s gilded cage, tantalizing her with hopeful possibilities that she is consistently unable to attain…Time and again Sachs confounds audience expectations
SLANT
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It’s a delicate, highly charged little ballet, staged without undue irony or emphasis. In this scene, as with so much else in Forty Shades of Blue, Sachs keeps the tone tentative, the camera and cutting fluid, and the motives tantalisingly oblique.
SIGHT AND SOUND

Korzun is superb as Laura, gradually revealing the emotions beneath her seemingly impassive exterior and it’s quite a surprise when she finally takes action. Torn is equally good as James, a flawed man, trying to do his best. At the same time, the film is incredibly tense in places, particularly when James gets drunk.
VIEW LONDON

Sachs pulls everything together with an auteur’s touch, moving between pleasing naturalism and more opaque, impressionistic moments. Most satisfyingly, his impressive portrait of a skewed relationship resists any easy resolution; for that alone, and for much more besides, this sits apart from most American indie film today.
TIME OUT

Torn’s performance is predictably excellent, capturing the subliminal self-loathing of larger-than-life types for whom no amount of success will ever be enough. The portrayal that must have clinched Blue’s Sundance Grand Jury Prize, though, is Korzun’s. Via meaningful looks and broken English, she establishes that Laura’s foreign-bred practicality moves her to excuse the profuse deficiencies of a partner who is that oldest-school of sops, “a good provider.” While the movie’s narrative through line is her developing attraction to Michael, its true pull is watching her gradually recognize that one can ask more from life than creature comforts.
ORLANDO WEEKLY

[Torn’s] acting so well he not only creates this character, but makes him into an object lesson.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Forty Shades of Blue hits you like a shot of moonshine whiskey. Right in the gut, with a buzz that just keeps going.
ATLANTA JOURNAL CONSTITUTION

Ira Sachs moves to the rhythms of his native Memphis, teasing emotional resonance out of geography.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

Ira Sachs’s beautiful, melancholy film, winner of the top prize at Sundance this year, features a passionate performance by Rip Torn as a legendary record producer.
NEW YORK TIMES

It feels mighty real, and veteran Torn’s almost all-impulse performance adds greatly to the sense of life unfolding, in its messy uncertainty and grabbed-for satisfaction, right before our eyes.
LA DAILY NEWS

A rare serving of adept regional indie cinema….it’s Korzun’s film, and she is in complete control of her character, never divulging too much of the haunted woman under the studied facade of American hotsiness.
VILLAGE VOICE

Smartly observed and emotionally truthful…a small-scale triumph
REEL.COM

There hasn’t been a [Sundance] Grand Jury Prize winner this terrific since Tom Noonan’s What Happened Was…
SLANT

Remarkable and challenging…Sachs is one of the most promising and gifted filmmakers working today. His stories aren’t depressing: The irony is they’re filled with such a rich sense of joy, exuberance, and vitality even as the characters are stuck in their own prisons, as if life is full of bounty and living is full of fear. He allows his characters to exist in a fully believable “real world,” where the camerawork isn’t slick but rather vital. The camera follows the actors not as they’re acting, but as they’re living. The grainy pulse of the film stock takes on a beauty in its rawness. His movies feel close to home in a way that movies almost never do.
FILM CRITIC

In its maturity and willingness to look at the complexity of adult lives, the movie is a refreshing if solemn rarity.
E! ONLINE

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