Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adele – Chapitres 1 & 2) won the 2013 Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or, but since I didn’t have the chance to see it, I haven’t talked about it yet. So, I thought I’d offer up a couple of clips from the film along with the synopsis and a couple of snapshots from reviews around the web from those that were able to see it.
First off, the film stars LÃ©a Seydoux and AdÃ¨le Exarchopoulos and Exarchopoulos plays a character with the same name while Seudoux plays a young woman with blue hair that captures Adele’s attention. Here’s the synopsis:
At 15, Adele doesn’t question it: girls go out with boys. Her life is changed forever when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself…
Blue earned a lot of attention for its rave reviews, but also for what is described by many as not only an explicit lesbian sex scene, but one that lasts ten minutes long.
Justin Chang at Variety wrote:
“I have infinite tenderness for you,” one woman tells another in “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” and it’s a sentiment that also describes director Abdellatif Kechiche’s attitude toward his characters in this searingly intimate, daringly attenuated portrait of a French teenager and her passionate relationship with another femme. Post-screening chatter will inevitably swirl around not only the galvanizing performances of Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, but also the fact that they spend much of this three-hour emotional epic enacting the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory. The result is certain to stir excitement and controversy on the fest circuit while limiting the film’s arthouse potential, barring significant trims for length and content.
Jordan Mintzer at THR writes:
Blue Is the Warmest Color (La Vie d’Adele, Chapitres 1 et 2) might be the title of Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche’s latest sprawling drama, but the emotions — and the sex, of which there is beaucoup — definitely run red hot in this deeply moving portrait of a young girl’s climb toward adulthood in the arms of another woman. Surely to raise eyebrows with its show-stopping scenes of non-simulated female copulation, the film is actually much more than that: It’s a passionate, poignantly handled love story which, despite an unhinged 3-hour running time, is held together by phenomenal turns from Lea Seydoux and newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos, in what is clearly a breakout performance.
And Jessica Kiang at The Playlist is already referring to it as a “masterpiece”:
This is absolute cinema, absolute characterization, absolute storytelling, controlled and compassionate, and bursting with empathy and life. Its theater-unfriendly length, along with the relative obscurity of the director, its language, explicit sex scenes and unavoidable “lesbian” descriptor mean this is unlikely to get the exposure some of our other festival favorites are guaranteed. But while it’s great to get ahead of the curve on those other movies, this is really the kind of film we come to Cannes in hopes of discovering. In fact, an experience this satisfying, moving, enriching and immersive might well have been worth the plane fare alone. “Blue is the Warmest Color” is a masterpiece of human warmth, empathy and generosity, because in a mere three hours, it gives you a whole new life to have lived.
There are several more reviews to pull from and I’ve also seen a lot of people that respect the film, but don’t necessarily get the falling down love for it, which may result in mixed reactions once IFC releases it stateside. We’ll see…
For now, here are those two clips from the film. See what you think…