Not only did Dina Korzun's ground breaking performance come to my notice in Last Resort (2000) but also to the independent Memphis born film director Ira Sachs. So impressed was he with the Chekhov Moscow Arts Theatre stage actress that he cast her in the leading role of Laura in his character driven drama Forty Shades of Blue (2005) Korzun plays the young and beautiful Russian trophy wife of the much older Alan James (Rip Torn in an energetically powered performance). James is a highflying Memphis record producer who drinks and parties with the upper echelons of the local music scene and regularly plays away from home. Laura does not seem to object to Alan’s philandering, appearing quite content, living in their spacious mansion and looking after their young son Sam. This seemingly fragile arrangement is shattered with the arrival of Alan James’s estranged adult son Michael (Darren Burrows) who has not seen his father for five years.
Ira Sachs took six years to complete his script creating the outline of the story based on his father who divorced his mother when his was eight years old, although the characters in the movie are completely different. Compelled by a female narrative the central focus is on Korzun’s character, a female out of step with her own society, an outsider. The perfectly cast Russian actress imparts a memorizing presence on screen adding a texture to the role and carrying the film, the wrong actress in this part would has ruined the ambiance of the movie. She was nominated for Best Female Lead at the Independent Spirit Awards and the film went on to win the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.