Blue is the warmest colour DVD coverDirector: Abdellatif Kechiche
Screenplay: Ghalia Lacroix, Abdellatif Kechiche, Julie Maroh
Starring: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos
Producers: Brahim Chioua, Vincent Maraval, Abdellatif Kechiche
Country: France
Running time: 179 minutes
Year: 2013
Rating: 18

If you follow cinema in any way, you will have heard of this film. It won the Palme d’Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival where, apparently, some people in the audience walked out due to the explicit nature of the sex scenes.

For some people this will be a reason to watch it as, for others, it will be a reason to avoid it. What I will say though, is that it is an excellent film and that everyone should try and look beyond the explicit parts of the film.

It is the story of Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a high school student who after a failed relationship with a boy from her school, a relationship she is encouraged to have by her so-called friends, falls for a female university student with blue hair (Léa Seydoux).

Cue the explicit scenes. Prior to watching the film I was told that these were very explicit, they are fairly I would say. Having watched a fair amount of European cinema (Almodovar, Julio Medem, French films with Vincent Cassel in and so on) I would say that the scenes aren’t any worse than what I’ve seen before. Yes you could say that they are gratuitous, that the film would work just as well without them, but then you could say that about just about every sex scene in any film, ever. The scenes show two people in love, if it were a man and a woman I’m pretty sure there wouldn’t have been anywhere near as much controversy.

Blue is the warmest colour

The most amazing thing about the film is the acting by Exarchopoulos and Seydoux. They are simply stunning as the pair of star-crossed lovers. In a world where so much cinema is fake, they have created a depth that is rarely achieved. When they smile, you smile and when things go wrong you feel for them.

Exarchopoulos shows the vulnerability that anyone in the first flush of love feels, especially when that love goes against perceived conventions. Seydoux is equally excellent in the role of the older partner who has more confidence in herself as someone who has been there before. In fact by the end of the film you feel as if they are two of your friends, rather than characters in a film.

Blue is the Warmest Colour will always have a certain air of notoriety to it and in many ways this is a shame. There is so much more to the film than those scenes as Kechiche, Exarchopoulos and Seydoux have created something really quite stunning. It is rare to see a film as engaging, captivating and engrossing as this.

Review by Henry Tucker

Blue is the Warmest Colour is released on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK on 17th March courtesy of Artificial Eye.

About The Author

A film lover with eclectic tastes that range from pretty much any European cinema to war films, comedies and the occasional Hollywood (leave your brain at the door) blockbuster.

One Response

  1. David Brook

    For me the sex scenes spoiled the film. They didn’t shock me as such, I’m not a prude and I’ve seen more graphic depictions of sex elsewhere, but the scenes ran on for so long (one lasted almost 15 minutes) that they ground the film to a halt and felt incredibly gratuitous. By showing them try out loads of different positions in these long sequences it reminded me of Team America’s sex scene to be honest, it was almost laughable. Of course couples experiment, it’s standard stuff in reality, but the way it was presented did feel a bit like porn and when I saw it in a cinema (the very Cannes premiere that some people walked out of) you could hear the bemused exhalations and fidgeting as the scene dragged on and on and it became more over the top.

    I have no problem with showing sexually explicit material and I admire the fact that they made it look convincing rather than the soft-focus, wind-in-the-curtains type of thing you get in Hollywood films, but to me they felt out of place in the film and ruined the pace. Plus the actual plot as such didn’t feel unique or interesting enough to justify the length either.

    I totally agree about the captivating nature of the characters and the stunning performances though. At it’s core, the film is amazing, but the arse-numbing length, especially the epic sex scenes, stopped me from truly falling for it.

    Reply

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