Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Release date – February 13th 2014
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
A love story. In French. Between two girls. With a duration over three hours long.
Definitely a movie I would avoid at all costs were it not for my role reviewing films for the telly.
So imagine my delight when I got to experience a beautiful film that won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
The innocence of a young girl – Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is presented as she goes to school, dates a boy, eats spaghetti with her parents and wonders where she is headed.
As she passes an attractive young woman with blue hair in the market one day, Emma (Léa Seydoux), something inside Adele is awakened.
At first she can’t put her finger on it. But more on that later.
A chance meeting shortly after that sees the two women embarking on a relationship that is detailed in the most passionate, graphic detail imaginable.
Much has been made of the sexually explicit scenes early in the film that establish the intense nature of their relationship. As it unfolded onscreen I felt uncomfortable, and questioned its necessity. In the third act, as the dynamics of the relationship shift, these early scenes are crucial to understanding the bond these two people share.
A passionate ten minute love scene utilising fake vaginas took ten days to shoot.
Apparently it was a nightmare for the actresses with Seydoux saying she felt like a prostitute.
An 8-week shoot became 5 months and both leads have expressed that they would never work with the director again.
Which would be a shame, because whatever he put them through this is a shining example of how cinema can engage, enthral, and educate us about life.
This is one of the most tender relationships to ever blossom onscreen, before imploding under the weight of it’s own intensity.
This would not have worked as a Hollywood film. Nor would it have worked as a heterosexual film. It is something out of the ordinary and ethereal. A film that is particularly poignant for young people to see. Blue Is the Warmest Colour’s two lead actors, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, have been rightfully singled out for special praise and they were – unusually – included in the Palme d’Or citation alongside the director.
Unmissable. 4 & ½ stars.