Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Cast: Adele Exarchopoulos, Lea Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Aurelien Racoing, Catherine Salee, Bejamin Siksou
Screenplay: Abdellatif Kechiche & Ghalia Lacorix (Based on the coming book “Le Bleu est une couldeur chaude” by Julie Maroh)
What a lot don’t realize about Abdellatif Kechiche’s “Blue is the Warmest Color” (despite how good it is with such simplicity too) is that it is actually a very ambitious project. The director had to find a way to keep his audience entertained for three hours with the love story of two girls that we need to grow to love during the duration of the film. Though he succeed in getting us to love Adele (Adele Exarchopoulous) And Emma (Lea Seydoux), I’m afraid I was one of those people who feared the runtime and found it a little bit too long for what it is. Thank heavens though for such wonderful performances that kept me from moving on, and finishing the film that certainly becomes a character piece more then anything else.
I was surprised to learn that “Blue is the Warmest Color” is based on a comic book. With such subject matter, I never imagined something like this could be down on paper, more so a cartoon. But the French do, what the French do, and that’s makes them extremely special. The subject matter for the film becomes provocative and sexy, and could have been just another “nudity / sex driven” art house flick, but Kechiche knows how to classily turn it into an exceptional movie experience. The story focuses mainly on Adele (Exarchopoulous), a high schooler, whose sexuality is awakened when she meets the blue haired, liberal art student Emma (Seydoux), and how their love story over the years unwinds.
Even with a strong supporting performance by Seydoux, who captivates the screen aas Emma, the true star of the film is Adele Exarchopoulous, who commands the screen to love her, and those who view it cannot resist. Her performance as Adele is as beautiful as she is, bringing to us one of the most realistic and truthful performances for a lead actress this year. She was raw, and the character called for it. No dye in anyone’s hair can outshine the charisma she embodied during the film.
The chemistry between the two women are undeniable. Even better then some of the typical love stories we see all year around. They dug into the cores of the characters, who are so different, but so well connected. Nothing seemed contrived. Maybe it’s because of the freedom they had with the dialogue? But this is still hard to achieve, especially after hearing Kechiche’s perfectionist type of direction where he needs a hundred shots per scene that he films, literally. Still, hands down to performances that are subtle, and effective.
Though a lot of film pundits talks about the hardcore and very graphic sex scenes, which some deem as “unnecessary”, I beg to differ completely. They were necessary. This is the love story of two women, one of them who has just realized her preference for a partner. This scenes gave us a full understanding of the passion these two women feel for one another. Disturbing to some, but beautiful to many. It gave us a glimpse into their romance which is a strong core for the film to revolve around. Later on in the film, a certain confrontation scene became hard to view, because the audience had such a good understanding on what they’ve felt for one another.
Risky? Yes. Tastelessly done? No way. As a whole package the film was almost perfect. My only trouble was the every longing run time. I understand the artistic decisions made by the film’s director, but personally it could have been shorter. If not shorter, then I feel that some scenes could have had a better focus then others. But that’s just me. As much as I liked it, I feel like it’s a one time view for me. Great performances, great dialogue but I can’t sit through three hours again talking, even though I enjoyed most parts of it immensely. Adele needs a nomination, though. Even though her chances now are pretty slim.