Picks and Pans Review: Blue

updated 01/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/24/1994 AT 01:00 AM EST

Juliette Binoche

Nobody can do pretentious like the French can do pretentious. Those in doubt need only watch this chronicle of...well it's hard to say what exactement this is about. It appears to be the story of a woman (the ravishing Binoche) who survives a car accident that claims the life of her young daughter and husband, a famous composer. The question of whether or not it was Binoche who wrote all her husband's compositions is raised early, then abandoned. It is just one of the puzzles that pile up: What is the significance of that blue chandelier in the family home that Binoche vacates for a seedy apartment? What is one to make of the conclave of rats Binoche finds in a closet, the strange visits with her senile mother, the happy hooker she befriends, the enigmatic street flutist who plays music that sounds like her husband's? Binoche goes through her paces—even the discovery of her husband's pregnant mistress—with a deadpan earnestness that is quite hilarious to watch. And there is more in store. Blue is the first part of a projected trilogy. Sacre blue. (R)

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