Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013, aka La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2)

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (aka La Vie d'Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2)Synopsis:

A High School student, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos, Down by Love), is going through the typical teen confusion phase. Everything changes for Adèle when she meets a lesbian free-spirited artist, Emma (Léa Seydoux, Robin Hood). The young women develop a romantic relationship, and Adèle seems to have found happiness at last. But as time passes, Adèle and Emma are unable to cope with their deep-rooted differences.

Reaction & Thoughts:

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (aka La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2), based on the French graphic novel of the same name by Julie Maroh, has received a great deal of attention because of its explicit sexuality, though in my humble opinion it is the film’s least interesting element. I dare to say that they distract from the film’s strengths, which are plentiful.

This is clearly one of the best films of 2013, mostly because the journey of self-discovery and the pitfalls of young love are so tenderly and honestly presented. Ostensibly about gay love, the movie does a fantastic job when it chooses to concentrate on teen angst and other mysteries of life.

The flaws are created largely by director Abdellatif Kechiche, who is a bit too obsessed with lesbian lovemaking. I’m no prude. I just think these longish sequences do more harm than good. I think the film is at its best when exploring the day-to-day problems of a romantic couple. I particularly liked how Kechiche calls attention to the minor/major things that draw people together/apart. The sex scenes feel mechanical, thus radically hampering the film’s distinctively unaffected quality.

Blue Is the Warmest Colour is too, a great vehicle for a pair of knock out performances. Seydoux and Exarchopoulos are superb. It’s what great acting is all about. I tend to stay away from so-called naturalistic work — Hitchcock was right, “reality is dull” — but I was deeply moved by the power of these two brilliant performances. Sofian El Fani’s camerawork is impressive too.

Conclusions & Final Thoughts:

Blue Is the Warmest Colour premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to win the prestigious Palme d’Or, the very first film to have the trophy awarded to both the director and the lead actors. It’s really a great movie, the kind of film that stays with you long after the end credits roll. Highly recommended! Color, 179 minutes, Rated NC-17.

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