Blue is the Warmest Color
Starring: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux, Jeremie Laheurte, Catherine Salée, Aurélien Recoing, Sandor Funtek
Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche
Run Time: 179 mins
Genre: Drama/ Romance
Opens November 1st
By Lisa Minzey of The Reel Critic.com
Hey Phoenix Film Fans! You may have heard about this film being talked about from different circles, mostly from the Cannes Film Festival. The lead actresses, Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux both took home the Palme D’Or, for the first time the prize was also officially awarded to two of the actors. With all the buzz and rare festival accolades, how does the film stack up for American audiences?
Chronicling the early teen and development into adulthood, we first meet Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) as an awkward 15 year old girl, not sure of her place in the social food chain. She tries to date a fellow classmate Thomas but can’t seem to connect with him emotionally. When she bumps into an androgynous blue haired lesbian on the street one day, Adèle can’t stop thinking about her.
Not knowing the blue hair girl’s name, Adèle wanders into a lesbian bar one night and runs into the object of her mental obsession. This mystery woman is named Emma (Léa Seydoux) whom Adèle takes to instantly. Not quite sure where this relationship is going, Adèle and Emma become inspirations for each other in ways neither could ever imaging. Emma is an art student, and Adèle inspires her art to reach new levels; Adèle finds a newfound power in her sexuality, albeit she keeps this side hidden from those closest to her.
As Adèle matures and enters into an adult relationship, her foolish childish ways as she tries to break free from, lands her into trouble with Emma which may jeopardize their future together. Will Adèle be able to survive this turbulence in her relationship with Emma or will her actions cause more damage than harm.
Since this film is of a controversial nature, let’s break this down into a few different arguments:
Story. This story is nothing new or original about two people falling in love and navigating the ups and downs of a passionate relationship. Digging a little deeper and playing devil’s advocate on the subject, there is a philosophical nature to this film, which is discussed in long detailed lengths between sex scenes. The ethics behind it of an older woman between a high school girl is a questionable, but it’s just semantics at this point.
Acting. The performances were solid. Both women gave emotionally profound depths to characters that could have been otherwise bland.
Directing. This is where I have an issue. The length of the film is clocking in at 3 hours. There is no way that the amount of eating, sleeping and mundane everyday actions gave any more depth to the story that the extra hour or so gave to this film. I understand that every director has his own vision and what exactly was the vision he was trying to convey, other than making an “artsy” film? There are ways to shoot sex scenes without being as detailed in shots as this film gets, which leads me on to the main gossip surrounding the film.
This film is not for everyone as it does have a high level of mature content; if you can handle it emotionally, more power to you. It does raise a few questions such as, where does the line cross between art and pornography, women's rights and the intimate relations between two people? Do we really need to get so intimate with the characters on film to the point it borders on voyeurism or some things should really be left to the imagination? You be the judge when “Blue is the Warmest Color” opens at Harkins Camelview 5 on Friday November 1,2013.