We told you about this movie few months ago after the BFI London Film Festival Gala premiere at Embarkment Garden Cinema; but with its release this weekend in the US and on the next one in the UK we decided to tell you a little bit more about last Carol Morley‘s work.
Out of Blue is the adaptation..let’s say it’s inspired by Martin Amis‘ 1997 novel Night Train and tells the story of a female detective tackling a homicide case so upsetting and eerie to bring her to the edge of a breakdown.
Set in New Orleans (in origin was supposed to be Atlanta), Out of Blue follows the smart and recovering alcoholic Det. Mike Hoolihan (Patricia Clarkson; The Party, House of Cards) investigating the murder of the brilliant astrophysicist Jennifer Rockwell (Mamie Gummer; The End of the Tour, The Good Fight, The Good Wife). Jennifer is…was the daughter of Vietnam-war-veteran-hero, industrialist and politician Tom Rockwell (James Caan, Dogville) and of the very disturbing and twitchy Miriam (Jackie Weaver, Parkland, Silver Linings Playbook, Animal Kingdom). With the help , or maybe just the pointless support of her “what’s up”-man agent Tony Silvero (Broadway star Aaron Tveit, Moulin Rouge on Broadway, Braindead, Graceland, Better Off Single, Undrafted), Mike investigates two Jennifer’s colleagues: Duncan Reynolds (Jonathan Majors, When We Rise) and Prof. Ian Strammi (Toby Jones, Journey’s End, The Hunger Games Saga); until the moment she realizes that with long-blond hair she would be very similar to the victim..or at this point it would be right to say victims?!?! Mike stars to notice strange details nobody else is able to see; like if they were from a very similar scenario but not exactly the very same… is she breaking-down or her mind is trying to tell her something? Are those clues just made up by her brain or are they coming from her past? We are not going to tell you more; but in the finale, Carol Morley lets her British-pride to take the upper hand making the camera to dwell on a jar of face cream “made in the UK” and on a little girl rubbing the cream on her mum’s corpse; when, suddenly, a female police officer comes into the room. The director explained at the Festival that she read about that touching happening in the newspaper and she was so moved but it that she decided to use the same imagine.
Patricia Clarkson said that what she loved the most about Mike is that “she is tough, insightful, honest and she is not defy by a man.” Was also Mrs Clarkson who suggested to move the shooting from Atlanta to New Orleans: “I was in Atlanta and there were like 15,000 movies shooting there, it was a nightmare; so I called Carol and I said that we had to choose another location. In the plot I’m a Louisianan cop just transferred in Atlanta, so I told Carol: just keep my a** in Louisiana. I’m a New Orleans girl, my mum used to run the city, I was sure they would welcome us with open arms.” But what does Carol Morley think about this choice? “New Orleans is a strong presence in the movie and I feel like it found me. Sometimes you plan, plan, plan and then you have to be prepared to let things happen. Like with the cast. I never impose my idea on them or on the crew because is their world they are making on set. I just had all this think about a red and a blue stars. Mike as cop is the blue star and Jennifer is the red one. They get closer and closer till the moment they collide. So I worked with the production designer, Jane Levick, to focus all on these two colors. Or, for example, we shot in 28 days and we had all on location. We built the police station entirely. I wanted it without windows, I was obsessed by not having natural lights to stress the fact that it’s not a day-day/night-night work.”
If New Orleans is a strong presence, the score by Clint Mansell (Black Swan) is another main character. “I contacted him on Twitter and this could seem very unprofessional; but he liked it. He worked in a noir way without being noir. Clint lived in New Orleans so he used the real New Orleans instrumentation; but he wanted also something fresh because Patricia and the entire cast performance is so great it doesn’t need help or support by the music.”
Out of Blue is clever and more cerebral than passionate. It’s a puzzle, an enigma that needs to be see more than once in order to embrace its deepest essence.
“Every atom in your body came from a star that exploded. And, the atoms in your left hand probably came from a different star than your right hand. It really is the most poetic thing I know about physics: You are all stardust. You couldn’t be here if stars hadn’t exploded, because the elements – the carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, iron, all the things that matter for evolution and for life – weren’t created at the beginning of time. They were created in the nuclear furnaces of stars, and the only way for them to get into your body is if those stars were kind enough to explode. So, forget Jesus. The stars died so that you could be here today.” (Lawrence M. Krauss)
Out of Blue out from March 22nd in the US and from March 29th in the UK. Find tickets here.