Blue is the Warmest Colour (La Vie d'Adele) French with subtitles. Telling the story of a young French girl and her journey of discovery through adolescence, love and her same sex relationship, this film has attracted a lot of controversy and a Palme d'Or at Cannes 2013. It is easy to see why. The acting is spellbinding, Adele Exarchopoulos ( Adele ) and Lea Seydoux ( Emma ) are both intensely believable as the young lovers and the director, Abdel Kechiche has created an emotional, in depth study of their story, whilst being accused of pushing the actors beyond boundaries. ( more here ) The directorial style is one of concentration and visceral close-up, focusing on all aspects of the characters facial features, particularly their mouths. Talking, smoking, kissing and eating - all seen through the lens of intimacy. The sex scenes ( cert 18 ) are intense, extended, messy and real, again pushing the boundaries of decency in to voyeurism and pornography. All of which has the effect of leaving you feeling the awkwardness of the blossoming relationship. You won't see such
intense, committed and passionate acting in many films, some of the scenes being heartbreakingly well performed ( restaurant break up scene & argument in flat both particularly devastating ). The performances of the two leads being powerful and natural adds to the sense that we are watching a real life drama unfold with all its inherent messiness. There is lots of spaghetti Bolognese, nose blowing and crying. 'Blue is the Warmest Colour' is definitely one of the dribbliest films for a very long time. There are some problems with the film and it will not appeal to everyone. It is long. The film's length, subject matter and subtitles will put some people off but, for those that can see past those factors, the reward is a beautifully acted and artily directed, naturalistic love story that will leave a lasting impression. Although some editing could reduce the length of the film, it may lose too much of its arty, plodding reality in the process. As intense, awkward and drawn out as a teenage fledgling relationship can sometimes be.
8 out of 10.
Cert 18 ( UK ). 2013.