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Blue Clear Across to America

Cast:
With: Samuel Jouy, Marion Cotillard, Albert Dupontel, Claude Perron, Zabou Breitman, Feodor Atkine, Franck Gourlat, Edouard Montoute, Yves Afonso, Louise Boisvert.

An earnest, seemingly authentic but strangely unengaging account of life in a physical therapy center, “Blue Clear Across to America” follows a diverse group of quadriplegics and paraplegics as they strive to recover. Color scheme and gung-ho lensing establish a world apart from normal life; but what should be poignant, even inspiring, is too often emotionally inert. There are no narrative sparks — just a marginally insightful portrait of a contained community in flux.

Central protag Camille (Samuel Jouy) arrives completely paralyzed and unable to breathe unassisted after a scuba-diving accident. Staff and patients of the under-funded facility tackle daily routines, with emotional adjustments proving as crucial as physical ones. Center has its own hierarchy and cruel humor — even its own violent gang, whose thugs operate from wheelchairs and crutches. Camille recovers use of his upper body and starts a tentative romance with cute Solange (Marion Cotillard),who is initially in a coma. Lone doc is played with harried compassion by Albert Dupontel, the lead in Michel Deville’s recent M.D. pic, “La maladie de Sachs.”

Blue Clear Across to America

France

Production: A Noria Films/Little Big Films release (in France) of an Alta Loma Films/Mact Prods./Le Studio Canal Plus/Arte France Cinema production. (International sales: UGC Intl., Paris.) Produced by Didier Boujard, Martine de Clermont-Tonnerre. Directed, written by Sarah Levy.

Crew: Camera (color), Jean-Max Bernard; editor, Jacqueline Mariani; music, Ramon Pipin; art director, Jean-Vincent Puzos; costume designer, Bernadette Strassmann. Reviewed at L'Entrepot, Paris, Dec. 14, 1999. Original title: Du bleu jusqu'en Amerique. Running time: 96 MIN.

With: With: Samuel Jouy, Marion Cotillard, Albert Dupontel, Claude Perron, Zabou Breitman, Feodor Atkine, Franck Gourlat, Edouard Montoute, Yves Afonso, Louise Boisvert.

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