Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013) Poster

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10/10
An Honest and Emotionally Devastating Film about Life, Love and Sexuality
Grey Gardens24 September 2013
I just want to start off by saying this is an amazing film about young love that is actually honest with its audience. There are countless of films about people falling in love, but when you see "Blue is the Warmest Colour". You realize just how rare films are that make a sincere attempt to catch what it really is like to fall for someone, without sentimentality, forced cuteness or cheap emotional manipulation. This is the rare love story that has real emotional truth about it. The fact that it is about two women who fall for each other is almost secondary to the way the film catches the universality of what it is like to fall in love and maintain the relationship. "Blue is the Warmest Colour is a naturalistic and touching film, whether you're gay, straight, bisexual, or whatever orientation. This is a film that can give you relationship advice and life guidance no matter what your orientation may be. It isn't an indulgent film bringing only a unique gay relationship to light and nothing more, and it isn't an ode to "coming out" and stockpiled clichés of "being different." It shows how an interaction with a person can have a truly provocative impact on you as a person.

The struggles between the two lovers is depicted in breathtaking detail. The director masterfully captures all of the turmoil and hardship going on between Adele's and Emma's relationship. The movie's long running time does not effect the film at all because you are so immersed into their characters. The sexual realization of Adele is perfectly shown in the movie. She is confused and doesn't know what she wants, it is a typical teenage problem. This movie is ultimately about Adele and her struggles to find her true self. The transformation that she experiences is utterly engrossing to watch. The film's nearly three hour running time is devoted to showing the growth of her character and it is absolutely amazing to watch it unfold right in front of your eyes.The intimate scene's between Adele and Emma are nothing short of miraculous in their depth and their honesty. The conversations are heartfelt, and the pain is evident and shared. It's realism of the world we live in is honest and raw.

The movie owes so much of it's emotional power to its two fantastic actresses. They really bring it their all in this. I've never had doubts of these two performances, the characters felt like real people and you felt so much for their relationship. Their emotional hardships feel completely real. The character's flaws and insecurities feel so authentic because you actually believe them as real human beings. We never lose sight of their chemistry and devotion to one another, even in the most difficult of times. The two of them are like fireworks, waiting to explode out. I cannot recommend this film enough to those of you out there who are interested in seeing this. This is one of the wisest and least condescending films I've seen this year. I congratulate the director, Abdellatif Kechiche and the two actresses, Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux for an emotional and spiritual journey that had me compelled to the screen for 179 glorious minutes.
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10/10
One of the best films I have ever seen. Go immediately.
smdilke10 November 2013
I saw this film as a preview, at 11am on a Sunday morning, whilst nursing a horrible cold and it was the best decision I have made in a long time.

The film offers several basic and well used premises: the Eliza Doolittle/Henry Higgins: why won't you let me educate you thing, a dichotomy between big city and small city ideas and ideals and the well trotted out first love idea. However, the way this film is presented is entirely original. Kechiche sets it in Lille, a town in Northern France, full of provincial living and entirely captures how it is in general in this town - when the characters walk around you feel that he understands what he is talking about.

The film is about desire, desire to eat, desire to sleep with someone, desire to dance and it is portrayed within a first relationship between two women. The two women are fantastic and the plot has amusing little french jokes interspersed between the very emotionally demanding relationship that has you gasping at points. However the story is largely about one of them, Adele - and you feel over the three hours, that you get to know her, what she is about, what she finds attractive, what she wants (or what she thinks she wants). The actress playing her has a wonderfully expressive face and she needs it for the amount that happens. When she cries, when she eats, when she sleeps you believe her.

Much has been said about the sex scenes, which are very graphic, however these are entirely relevant to the plot and the furore seems to be about the actors criticising the director for pushing them too far, however, without this pushing this film wouldn't be nearly as good.

When it finished, and I realised that it had been three hours I couldn't believe it.

It was a revelation.
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10/10
One of the most emotionally intense, powerful movies of the year
nootch2327 December 2013
I saw this film on the last night it was playing at my local theater and I jumped on the opportunity. Once it was over I realized how smart of a decision it was. I read a review of the film that said something along the lines of, "the trouble with this film being 3 hours is that you want to watch it for several more." I couldn't agree more with that statement. The story, along with its characters, moves the film along to the point where it didn't feel like 3 hours.

This film was probably the most emotionally intense and powerful movie I've seen in a very long time. You believed everything you were seeing and it forced you to feel it along with the characters. As much that has been written about this film, the acting can not be overstated. These two actresses are a revelation in this movie.

It seems that whenever the topic of homosexuality is covered by a film it usually contains some sort of hate crime or bias against homosexuality somewhere in the story that the film's characters have to face and overcome. What's refreshing about this film is that there is a dash of that but its in the beginning of the film and never becomes the focus of the conflict with the characters. The film acknowledges that bias is there but brushes it aside to say that there is something bigger and more important at play with the characters. Really nice to see that in a film.

This movie ranks as one of the best films I've seen this year and am so happy I had a chance to see it.
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10/10
Extraordinary
Abstract News15 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I have never seen a film about a face until Blue. Almost every emotion the face can show is expressed by the leading actress: longing, satisfaction, shame, allure, hunger, anger, grief, boredom, suspicion. I was worried after the opening scenes that the film was one of stark realism despite its whimsical title. However, after a short time, it took on its poetical style, and in the street, just before Adele sees Emma, we hear the first sound of music. From then on the film is an exercise in cinematic eloquence.

In one particular scene, Adele wanders into a lesbian club still under the impression of the blue-haired woman she had seen days or weeks before. The club is small and packed and she can't seem to find her bearings. Adele makes it to the back of the club which resembles a dark abyss. She has the look of someone at once desperately searching and giving up the search. Then, behind her, the top of Emma's head appears from somewhere out of the shadows as a looming orb of dark blue. You don't see where Emma comes from; you don't see her face or body, just a color. When Emma sits down at the bar with Adele their first exchange is instantly dynamic and absorbing. If you compare this conversation with the talk Adele engages in with her classmates at the beginning , it's easy to admit that Adele is far more mature, thoughtful, and intellectually eager than her peers.

To appreciate the subtleties of this scene we have to recall one of the first moments in the film when Adele's teacher asked her class if love at first sight feels like the gaining of something or the losing of something. Is it possible that the director is also trying to answer this question?

The sex scenes will doubtlessly make some uncomfortable; such authenticity is something rarely seen on screen, but they are neither gratuitous nor pornographic. There's nothing more gratuitous than the old lie that's been told throughout cinematic history of woman as a passive sexual being, and the women in this film are anything but passive.

Contrary to other reviews, no single sex scene in Blue is 10 minutes long. There are three sex scenes and together they add up to 10 minutes, but the scene everyone is talking about is at most five minutes, unless the film they showed at Cannes if different from the one making the film festival circuit.
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9/10
An extraordinary Love story, applicable to all of us !!
kriddirk8 November 2013
I waited some days to review this title after seeing this film. This movie triggered me thinking about love and life and I waited to give it my neutral review. I am watching movies since the latest 30 years and I have to say ; This movie is special !! After 30 years of seeing all kind of movies I have narrowed my scope of movies to see. They have to be special, show me something different, give me ideas to think about or to evaluate in my own life. So, movies like World war Z is not directly my style. This movie although is one of the best love stories I have seen. No unnecessary emotional or cuteness parts, each part of the story is real and genius. It is the soft moments of a love story, the hard moments bringing to the screen. The movie is made in away you are in the skin of Adele and Emma ( can't remember the actress names ). They take you with them in their love story, their feelings. That is also the reason that the 3 hours of the movie is not too long at all. I was surprised it took 3 hours when the film ended. The movie handles the passion between them, a passion that many of us forget over the years in a relation. That passion is also expressed in about 3 sex scenes, 3 scenes which are quiet honest and direct. Some people will find these scenes too long ( one of them could take 10 minutes ), but I find it necessary to establish your follow up of the passion they have between each other, so that when things goes worse you also are one with the situation.

This movie, natural, honest about love, life and sexuality could be attended by children of 12 and more, if they are explained things of life ( they also can see all kind of war movies … ). Many will say "Oh, lesbian movie, what the hell you are". This is a movie for all of us, independent of your orientation being gay, hetero, bisexual, … It is a Love story.

Each feeling, being angry / disappointment / sad / etc …, can be seen on the faces of Adele and Emma and by this I have to say that these actresses are just superb, in fact I don't know another word to say extraordinary acting. It has certainly been very difficult for them to make this film. The director : Bravo to him.

There are some scenes which are just fantastic : The first meeting between them, the encounter between them in the lesbian bar in which Adele is in a strange world as adolescent. The tree scene, where they actually get in love both of them. The level of a good love story with all it's feelings and situations has been raised to a higher one. Who can ever do this better.

And the last remark. The film treats the love story, it's personal problems, the passion, but does not handle the problems which can have their family or friends, not in detail.

And now, go and watch it !
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9/10
Amazing
michaelvillar4 September 2013
I was fortunate enough to see this movie at a screening last night in Los Angeles. It was amazing, everything about it amazing! Kechiche is something special. He works on something until he gets it right, and the only time he gets it right is when he feels comfortable with what he has shot. At the Q&A afterward with Kechiche, Seydoux and Exarchopoulos, I learned that they shot some of the takes 100 times!

His methods are unconventional. Because of this you are able to experience cinema in a whole new light. The acting was so real, so moving; these actresses gave everything they had, I'm just blown away with what I viewed. My hat is off to Exarchopoulos and Seydoux as actresses. No matter how painful and difficult the process must of been to make this movie in the end I think that they would have to agree it was worth it. To know that you gave everything is something special, and something that I hope I can look back to on my career and say I felt as well. Kechiche, call me, I want to be in your next film!!
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9/10
Great scenes with beautiful characters
saintjeremia14 November 2013
I certainly blinked when I found out this movie was 3 hours long, especially considering that it won the Palm d'Or where many winners have a slow and painful plot. This movie on the other hand does a great job keeping every scene riveting through great dialog and riveting emotions. I would compare many of the scenes in this movie to Tarantino scenes where scenes take on a life of their own. Cleverness and awkwardness were dispersed in a way to make it seem real and ultimately human. I felt wonderfully disappointed when certain scenes ended. The actresses held nothing back in their body language and added much to the moment-to-moment importance of their character development.
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10/10
A movie you can't forget
pmuchteros5 November 2013
Cinematic orgasm. Cinematic. Orgasm. Put the words together and separately, it does not matter actually. I was watching the film with a sense of bitten apricot in my mouth, so from time to time I kept checking if indeed something was dripping from my lips . In any case, you can feel all kinds of dripping in this garden of delight and from many different angles. A deep diving into puberty, into the raw desires of youth, above the thunderous victory of human need. Adele is the personification of youth, just in time when it begins to grown. That exact moment when the juices of love are instantly aggressive and the human body seems like a fruit with the heart as a kernel. When you are in the midst of immortality, gaining the illusion of eternity, just before the fruit is eaten, shortly before the kernel sits at your neck with the bitter taste of rejection, while you greedily swallow life, which seems so inexhaustible. I left my local cinema with the feeling of a hot lump in my throat and stomach. As a teenager in love and disappointed at the same time. And from that moment I keep seeing little hearts and stars everywhere. I keep seeing Adele everywhere.
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9/10
Unique in its openness and honesty
Howard Schumann17 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Though Blue is the Warmest Color, winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, contains graphic depictions of sex, it is not a voyeuristic exercise but a complex, deeply intense film that elevates one young woman's personal struggle into a drama of universal relevance. Adapted by Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix from the novel by Julie Maroh, Tunisian born French director Abdellatif Kechiche's fifth feature looks with piercing eyes into the coming-of-age years of Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), and her relationship with the more mature Emma (Lea Seydoux), a relationship that does not fit anyone's pictures.

First seen as a 15-year-old teenager, Adèle's growing pains are magnified by her attraction to women and she is forced to defend herself against the bullying accusations of her high-school classmates, even though she is confused and uncertain about her identity. Adèle's face radiates an attractive childlike innocence and openness that is appealing to both sexes and she does not want for friends, but her first relationship with fellow student Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte) does not get off the ground. Her feelings about Thomas seem to answer the question asked by a teacher lecturing on Pierre de Marivaux's novel La Vie de Marianne, "How do you understand that the heart is missing something?"

After being attracted to a striking looking woman with blue-tinged hair passing by on the street, Adèle meets Emma at a gay bar, learning that she is an aspiring artist and an individual of uncommon intellectual tastes. The chance encounter leads to a relationship and the depiction of an explicit sex scene that is notable for its believability and the raw emotions that are expressed but has, unfortunately, become a source of finger pointing in some quarters. Although the chemistry between the two lovers is unmistakable, Kechiche makes sure that we notice how different their backgrounds are, displaying contrasting scenes at the home of both parents.

Their relationship is openly accepted by Emma's bohemian parents who persuade Adèle to eat oysters and drink white wine, though seafood is the one type of food she had said she dislikes. In contrast, the nature of their liaison is never brought up at Adèle's more working-class home where they eat spaghetti and drink red wine. The passage of time is seamless and we have to catch up to the fact that three years have gone by. Adèle, now 18, has moved in with Emma and has fulfilled her ambition to teach young children, while both families seem to have disappeared into the woodwork.

After the first blush of sexual ecstasy has run its course, however, their incompatibility surfaces and is painfully present at a dinner party of Emma's friends when Adèle has to play the role of servant and gets an uncomfortable feeling about Emma's attraction to another woman. Eventually, their social and cultural differences get in the way and jealousy and feelings of betrayal begin to replace mutual satisfaction.

Blue is the Warmest Color is unique in its openness and honesty about same-sex relationships although we never really experience the outsider status in society and emotional toll that such relationships normally bring. The performances, however, are so perfect that we are never conscious of anything except the beauty of two human beings discovering the joys of authentic intimacy and a connection that can keep providing enough emotional richness to last a lifetime.
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9/10
The life of Adele
zetes3 November 2013
This year's Palm d'Or winner is a coming of age story about a teenage girl, Adele (the literal title in French is The Life of Adele), who discovers her homosexuality and begins a relationship with Emma, a college student. For a while, I was thinking this was a good but fairly unremarkable entry into the queer cinema canon, but, over the film's three hours, well, you see why the long running time was necessary. It is just a very detailed picture of a life. It feels more real than most films - it feels like more time has past and that we've just felt Adele's growth. Frankly, I didn't feel the length of it at all - I wanted it to be longer. It really helps that the actresses are so perfect. Adele Exarchopoulos is simply fantastic - this is the performance of the year, really. Her face is so expressive. The film takes place over several years, and you really do see her grow from a child to an adult. Lea Seydoux plays Emma. Her role is less demanding, but she's still great in it. Now, the biggest story of this film has probably been the graphic sex scenes. My opinion on them: I actually do think they're a bit too graphic, gratuitous and almost pornographic. I try to justify them artistically in my mind, and I'm afraid I can't. There's a plot point near the end where you kind of have to know that the girls' sex life was fantastic, but I'm not sure we had to see it in anywhere near as much detail as we did. They're without a doubt awkward to sit through, but they don't ruin the film either.
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10/10
what on earth did i just watch?
JiMuR28 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
i normally tend to stay away from romance movies, but at the same time i cannot resist a good controversy, i looked into some reviews and the people talking about the film said you must seek it out, it must be seen, so i tracked down a cinema that was showing it, watched it and WOW.

frankly I have never seen anything quite like it. i understand that the main topic of discussion is the sex scenes but we'll get to them in a bit, but first a few things that I think need talking about first.

this movies appears to have an agenda to create absolute realism, and in my opinion, it achieves that agenda with a highly unusual level of discipline, the directing, writing and acting combined created an atmosphere that stopped it from feeling like a movie, it very quickly feels like you are watching real people, the dialogue, facial expressions and even the eye movements make the characters feel 100% authentic, everything they do and say is absolutely how i think people would behave in the situations they get into. they don't feel like actors reciting lines, they feel like you are standing there with them, listening in on their conversations.

from what i remember, apart from the very end and over the credits, there is no music, there is music playing on radios and over speakers etc but apart from that there isn't much of a soundtrack, this assists the feeling that you are actually there to a point where it's almost breath taking. the camera work is fascinating, during scenes where they're just talking, the way it moves and cuts away is almost impossible for me to describe, it has a uniqueness to it that cannot be summed up with words. This was the fastest three hours i have ever sat through, i did not think this movie was too long at all, if they cut any scene from it it would be ruined, the pacing really gives Schindler's list, a prime example of expert pacing, a run for it's money.

there is an argument scene towards the end, and after 2 1/2 hours of build up, a series of slightly unsettling scenes and an entrance from almost nowhere, this argument left me shaking, it was so well acted, so realistic and so superbly filmed, i have felt disturbed and anxious non stop ever since. the realism is so well executed, it actually got me to care for this relationship, this fictional relationship in a romance movie that is nothing like your typical sappy, emotionally forced rubbish from Hollywood, and i deeply cared about it, me? the guy who laughed at Hostel?

now for what you've all been waiting for, the sex scenes

they were kind of like the action scenes, they may seem mindless at first but you wouldn't dare cut them out. they're explicit, yet not pornographic, graphic but also necessary. i feel if these scenes were any different the sense of realism every other scene created would have been severely jeopardised. yes they are long and yes the camera absolutely refuses to shy away from anything but at the same time, the directing and acting succeeded in making them extremely realistic, emotional and well crafted, and since we have already established that realism was the main agenda, it's safe to assume that if they follow realism, they did a good job. it did not look like i was watching two actresses pretending to do it for money, it legitimately felt like i was watching two people actually having sex, when a director can take fake sex and make it feel more real than the real sex in movies like 9 songs, something has surely gone right somewhere.

i know people have said that's not how lesbians have sex but let's at least appreciate this as an attempt, they at least tried to get it as realistic as they could even if it isn't how it's done in reality, they at least tried. people complained that the sex scenes are too long, but, they really aren't that much longer than most of the other non sex scenes so having them any shorter would feel like a copout, if every scene was long, they shouldn't make the sex scene shorter simply because it's a sex scene. these scenes also did a good job at generating emotion too, to me they didn't feel like sex scenes, they felt like love scenes, the explicitness will almost certainly get to some but i think the whole point of the graphic detail is to keep you glued to the screen, it stops it from getting boring by use of a combination of positive shock value and powerful emotion. some of the things these girls get up to had me shocked and fascinated at the same time, how on earth does a director tell actors to do that without being awkward I asked myself.

the sex is there as a side effect of there being a realistic relationship, the relationship was graphic, so was the sex. it doesn't feel like it wants to offend, just create a unique atmosphere rarely seen in love stories these days, the fact that it's lesbians is incidental and in no way exploitive. it's not pornography because porn is fake, this felt real. if you like romance movies, long movies, french movies, art house movies or are just curious about a few highly talked about sex scenes, you should search it out and give it a go.

I loved this movie for what it did to me, it took me to a place that few movies have done and the effects of that journey are still being felt today, it felt more than real, it was raw, beautiful, fearless and completely Oscar worthy, and i don't mean that lightly.

that being said don't let your parents see it whatever you do.
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10/10
Never a dull moment, a beautiful and captivating film
shksze199114 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Blue is the Warmest Colour has become one of the most controversial films of the past year on the basis of its frank depiction of lesbian sexuality alone, but the film is so much more than that. The sex is merely a device used to accelerate the plot and enrich the realism of the film. The film presents a very beautiful and ultimately devastating love story that far transcends the hyped bedroom proclivities of the two main characters.

Its central character is Adele, played by Adele Exarchopoulos in a fearless, breathtaking performance. Ever word she utters, ever expression on her face, it all felt so sincere. She is the heart and soul of this film. We get to know her insecurities about her appearance, her experimentation, confusion and ultimate realisations/awakenings with sexuality and her development from girl to woman. Her relationships, with the break ups and make ups, her plans for her life all become the focus of the 187 minute run time. Honourable mention goes to Lea Seydoux, who provides an enchanting performance as the free spirited, artistic Emma. She provides an interesting contrast to the indecisive and sometimes confused Adele in that she knows exactly what she wants in life - what pleases her and what doesn't.

The film is quite heavy on symbolism with the colour blue. It is very prevalent in the film, appearing most obviously in Emma's hair, in the club Adele visits, in the fare she uses at the rally, in the classroom she teaches, in the dress Adele wears during her last encounter with Emma. The cinematography itself is beautiful and rich, full of earth tones and exquisite colour, giving the film a dreamy haze.

The rather long run time may detract you, but don't let it. There is never a dull moment and the movie progresses like a breeze, every single scene is crucial and well constructed. Do not miss this, it could arguably one of the best film's of 2013 and certainly one of the most honest depictions of a relationship between two people in cinema in recent memory.
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Breathtaking. Spoilers.
Bill Bailey22 December 2013
I envy people who haven't seen this film. Easily the best film I've seen this year. Everything in it is generalisable, you can recognise bits of your life in the various stages. (For me it's the cafe scene, my God, Adele says she used to eat scabs, in that scene she's sticking a dagger in her own heart and twisting it- it's excoriating, naked and raw. Sado- masochistic, almost. She's asking a question she knows the answer to and the answer will torture her).

It's an emotional voyage, the sex scenes are not that important, there's more lascivious eating than sex, the leads are absolutely incredible. This film really, truly moved me. I hope Adele's OK.
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10/10
Stunning
dave-234012 November 2013
This is a very tender , passionate tale of young love that I found fascinating . The three hours will simply fly by as you follow the life of Adele who falls in love with an arty student . The lead actress is stunning in both looks and believability , and you are swept along with her on her journey . This is acting on the edge...powerful and dramatic...worthy of many awards . The story rattles along at pace , and hardly has time to fully explore all the issues that are on show . Adeles family and friends for example simply disappear after a while , which was odd , as they were an important part of the anti-lesbian feeling present early on in the film . Nonetheless , its almost impossible to find fault . I didn't shed a tear at any stage (but came close a few times ) . The now infamous sex scenes were in my opinion incredibly moving and central to the plot (however they were rather long...men will be used more to a "Wham Bam 30 seconds approach " ! ) You should all go to see this ...male and female alike...though perhaps don't take your Mother !
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It's more than just naked bodies.
The_Film_Cricket18 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Forget, for a moment, that "Blue is the Warmest Colour" is the story about two women in love. Here is a movie so universal in its themes and so broad in its emotions that it could really be about people of any gender, race or sexual orientation. While Hollywood films simply prattle on about love while merely copying sitcom nonsense, here is a French film that will mean something to anyone who has ever had the pleasure and the pain of being in love.

"Blue is the Warmest Colour" was the winner of Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival last May, and has been the center of media attention due to a pair of scenes depicting the two female lovers engaged in graphic sex that has – how does one put this nicely? – a very French sensibility. It is true. We see the lovers naked, laid bare with little to hide, particularly during the first of two encounters, an eye-opening seven-minute scene of raw sexuality in which the bodies twist this way and that in a manner that might make some viewers uncomfortable. Yet, while those scenes are striking, it is the film that surrounds these two women that captures our imagination. For all the news of scenes of sweaty sexual fumblings, the most tantalizing organ on display is the human heart.

Based on a graphic novel by Julie Morah, "Blue is the Warmest Colour" tells the story of Adèle and Emma, two intelligent and heartfelt people who, through simple cosmic fate, fall desperately in love. The movie sees their relationship over the course of a decade, mostly through the eyes of Adèle, a pretty 17 year-old high school girl with pouty lips and an expression that suggests a great deal of unhappiness. She's that very rare teenager who always seems to be waiting for something. Her classmates live in the moment, but Adèle seems to be searching for some kind of meaning in her life. As the film opens, her eyes suggest that she is lost in the world. When the movie is over she will have the same look in her eyes, but for a completely different reason.

At school, she has a circle of friends but they seem distant somehow. She tries to touch the social strata but nothing really engages her. She begins dating a nice guy named Samir. They talk and before long she shares his bed. Something in her eyes in their post-sexual encounter seems sad. The parts are there but, in her mind, there seems to be a sexual component that is missing here. The relationship doesn't last long and she breaks his heart.

Then something happens. While walking with her friends one day, she passes a blue-haired girl on the street walking the other way. It is only a passing glance but, for Adèle, it leaves a startling impression. This parting glance stays on her mind for days and days until one night, while out with friends, she makes an unexpected left turn into a gay bar hoping the find the girl. She does, and they begin to talk. The girl is Emma, a pretty college student who is studying art. Emma and Adèle talk a lot. They talk about art, about music, about philosophy, about themselves. They talk about their dreams. Adèle reveals that she wants to be an elementary school teacher; Emma wants to be an artist. Days later, on a park bench, they pause in their conversation and share a kiss. They go home and have sex. Afterwards they talk some more. Adèle finds her life turned around, especially by her former friends who cruelly interrogate her for hanging around with a lesbian – a reminder that even as open as we are about homosexuality, a social stigma still exists.

What is happening between Emma and Adèle is a building relationship that will last for several years. The miraculous thing is that the story is constructed in such a realistic way that we never know where it is going. Director Abdellatif Kechiche shoots the film in a way that makes us feel as if we are standing in the room with the characters. There are no glossy, pretty images. When they sit at dinner, we are sitting at the table with them. Kechine gets in close, and allows us to get to know the characters intimately. He is an expert at photographing the landscape of the human face in close-up so that every emotional tic is on display. We come to care about the fate of these two girls and it pays off in the film's climax, a heart-rending moment that will break your heart as the lovers realize what their fate must be. The weight of that moment stands for the fate of all lovers in crisis. What they do with that moment determines the destinies for both.

To understand what a remarkable achievement this film is, you have to see it in relation to most other movie love stories. Other films want to throw problems at the characters that are there to be solved. The problems for Adèle and Emma are borne out of their personalities. Not one moment in this film feels phony or contrived. It moves with the rhythms of real life and ends on a welcomed, life-goes-on note that leaves us with something to talk about afterwards. This is one of the best films of the year.

**** (of four)
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8/10
A stunning film
Ruben Mooijman11 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
While watching 'La Vie d'Adèle', I regularly thought about 'Entre les Murs', the winner of the Palme d'Or in Cannes five years ago. Not only because in both films many scenes take place in classrooms, but also because they both have an ultra-authentic feeling.

Many of the scenes in this film look so real that it's almost hard to believe they are acted at all. Take for instance one scene in the beginning of the film. Five schoolgirls are chatting about a boy who is standing a few meters away, and who is clearly interested in one of the girls. The conversation, and the way the girls behave is so natural, it's almost impossible to script this. And in fact, many scenes are hardly scripted. Much is improvisation, and the actors were encouraged to do whatever they felt like doing, whatever came natural to them. Director Kechiche apparently shot for several months and came up with 800 hours of footage.

The result is stunning. This is a movie that is not only reminiscent of 'Entre les Murs', but also of the films made by the Belgian brothers Dardenne. These are films showing the real lives of real people, without make-up, without scripted lines and without any cinematographic glamour. There are so many scenes that make you feel like you're peeping into other people's lives. Take for example the scene of Adèle eating spaghetti with her parents, while watching television. Hardly a word is said, but this little scene tells more about Adèle's life than fifty lines of dialogue.

The best thing about the movie, apart from the directing, is actress Adèle Exarchopoulos. Her performance is an extraordinary accomplishment. She shows every possible emotion: indifference, astonishment, grief, anger, joy, sadness, and yes, sexual excitement, without once giving the impression that the emotion is not real, that she is just acting. In Cannes, both she and Léa Seydoux were awarded the Palme d'Or, but is is Exarchopoulos who steals the show.

The film is a classic coming-of-age drama. Adèle is a high school girl who falls in love with art student Emma. They have a passionate relationship, but it is doomed because working class girl Adèle doesn't fit in with Emma's snobby friends. The two girls really don't have very much in common. Adèle gets a job as a nursery teacher and is passionate about her work, but this doesn't resonate with Emma who thinks she should develop a more creative passion, like writing. The best scene about the difference between the two girls (again without words) is when Adèle is washing the dishes after a party, while Emma is in bed reading a book about the painter Egon Schiele.

The fact that the lovers are both female is in fact irrelevant for the film. Their being lesbian is hardly an issue. Much has been said about how 'lesbian' the movie really is. The answer is: it is not. Some viewers have complained that the sex scenes are unrealistic and shown from a male perspective. This might be true, and it is completely understandable, given that this film is not meant as a statement about lesbianism. In fact, one of the sex scenes shows Adèle with a boy, and is filmed in much the same way. There is in fact a lot of very explicit sex in the film. This serves the story, but the length of the scenes and the way they are filmed suggest that director Kechiche secretly hoped for a bit of controversy.

The film is almost three hours long, but doesn't feel that way at all. Many scenes are long, but they are such a joy to watch you almost regret that they are not even longer. Many reviewers and watchers have said that, after watching the movie, they feel that they really have got to know Adèle and the way she feels. I can only agree.
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10/10
Emotional Hijack!
Avaise Mohammed1 January 2014
If you haven't watched this Piece of Art, you are wasting your time here! Those who had seen, I am sure you can't express the feeling in words.

I started watching with skepticism, but turned out to be the Best of 2013 on par with The Hunt, better than Hunt in terms of the emotions displayed by Adele at her age. Journey from cute high school girl to heart broken woman is just soul twisting and I don't know how I couldn't cry to see her fate and life came to a stand still. I am now obsessed with this movie and Adele, she is French Jennifer Lawrence; I must say. If nominated for Oscars, it should be her's. The brilliance of Steven Spielberg is in awarding Palme D'Or to Actresses along with the Director! And this movie EARNED IT.

What are you waiting for? Go and watch again :D
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1/10
Preposterously Self Indulgent
adamcrossstills15 January 2014
To put it in as simple terms as possible, Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a story about Adèle, a high school student who finds herself confused and troubled with her sexual identity. After passing a blue-haired girl on the street who catches her eye and an even more confusing, spontaneous and upsetting encounter with a classmate she finds it all to curious and enticing when a close, male friend takes her to a gay bar, she follows some girls to another bar nearby where she sees the blue- haired girl again. A short conversation sparks a relationship that carries us through the rest of the film.

Well, where to start?

To start with, this film is exhaustingly long. 3 hours is too much for so much useless, meandering exposition. It serves nothing other than to keep us away from a plot that is so thin you could go make yourself a cup of tea and come back 20 minutes later and nothing would've happened to push the story along. I'm sure there is an excellent 90 minute film in there somewhere if the editors had been more ruthless in their cutting and the director wasn't so preposterously self indulgent.

The sex scenes are unavoidable, exploitative and sickening within the context of the films creation. The major sex scene that everyone talks about took a gruelling 10 days to shoot and was only the actors 2nd shot on-set together, they literally didn't know each other and were suddenly put together to perform these scenes for an imposing, frustrated director.

Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos have both stated that the 3 hour film doesn't really show how much they shot, that the director would do hundreds of takes of even the most simple scenes, extend scenes and shoot for extremely long periods of time and would become enraged if they laughed even once out of one hundred takes.

Knowing how the actors felt about it (thankfully they have been vocal in interviews about how horrible and unpleasant the experience was) how uncomfortable they were with unchoreographed sex scenes; sex scenes are almost always choreographed, shots and various angles kept to minimal length so that actors are more comfortable and that the experience is as desexualised as possible. They have spoken about how they felt powerless to say anything about it because "The director has all the power. When you're an actor on a film in France and you sign the contract, you have to give yourself, and in a way you're trapped."…"In America, we'd all be in jail." – Léa Seydoux

This is perversion and abuse of power in the truest sense. The fact that Kechiche wrote the adaptation, produced and directed the film, apparently even financed some of it himself tells me all I need to know about his intentions. Even Manohla Dargis of The New York Times has written that it "feels far more about Mr. Kechiche's desires than anything else".

I feel awful for Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos for having to endure this "horrible" 6 month shoot and for having to work with this director, of whom they have said they would never work with again. They deserved better than this because their performances are incredible given the situation that they had to work in.

And finally, I also feel bad for the characters Adèle and Emma, their story deserved so much better than this.
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8/10
A mundane love story between two very different women
george karpouzas1 November 2013
This is a good movie. I liked very much the way in which it describes the birth, maturity and end of a love interest among two young and attractive humans. The scenes in the park and the interplay of sentiments and nuances between the two lovers are very emotional and engaging. The difference of characters is very well presented.

The other good point is the sometimes humoristic way in which the down to earth and pragmatic family and social environment of Adele is juxtaposed with the artistic, intellectual and avant guard family and friends of Emma. I think this is the best part of the movie when one compares the realism of Adele with the artistic license of Emma. The scenes where both eat with each others family and the ensuing dialogues are a treat.

And now what you are all waiting for: the sex scenes. They are long, hot and explicit. I can not pronounce with conviction whether they served the artistic purposes of the movie or not. If someone wanted to watch the full bloom of a lesbian love story, the scenes may be considered indispensable, if you just wanted to watch a human love story between two people that happen also to have the same sex without caring for so much carnal detail, the scenes could be shorter and more circumspect. The point nevertheless is that those scenes caused a sensation and created a furore and debate from which the movie profited in terms of advertisement. People may now blame or praise it for the wrong reasons.

Both actresses where very good in playing their roles. The portrayal by Exarchopoulos of Adele as a teacher in a kinder-garden reading to the children didactic stories with animals or of her abilities as a cook and her insistence that Emma should eat something while Emma is consumed by a telephone call in which she raves about her artistic personality, integrity and vision ignoring Adele and the immediate environment are superb. She is also an actress which made feel empathy for her character. Seydoux is also very credible as the pretentious modernistic and ultimately self-centered Emma. And to conclude with a personal view I liked Adele much more than Emma as a person...
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9/10
A great love story
Bence Bárdos3 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Abdellatif Kechiche Tunisian-French director's Palme d'Or winning 2013 film 'La vie d'Adèle' happens to be a successful attempt to talk honestly about the subject that tends to be most lied about in the history of cinema – love.

Its reputation as a 'three-hour-long graphic lesbian film' might misguide the audience of multiple award winning 'La vie d'Adèle' – rather than celebrating or judging homosexuality the film does not manipulate, it simply offers a realistic insight into the two chapters of its protagonist Adèle's life (its original title is therefore more accurate) and the story of a relationship the viewer can relate to regardless of gender and sexual orientation. In contrast to Lars von Trier's strongly graphic 'Nymphomaniac' of the same year Kechiche shows sex with the same objectivity and elaboration he shows a family dinner or a school conversation – either omitting sexuality or over-romanticising it with candle-lit close-ups would turn out to be hypocritical.

Lower middle-class French schoolgirl Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) studies French literature at school and wants to be a teacher herself. After a frustrated attempt of dating and having sex with a boy from school to give in to peer pressure she becomes confused about her own sexual identity. On the street she passes by a woman with blue hair (this sign of their inevitable meeting, possibly the only sentimental moment of the film, resembles Peter Coyote's story of meeting and falling in love with her future wife in Roman Polanski's 'Bitter Moon'). She later masturbates fantasising about the woman. She misunderstands a girl's flirting and kiss in school. As a gay friend introduces her to the night life of gay bars she accidentally meets the same blue-haired woman, Emma (Léa Seydoux). They become friends, and, eventually, lovers.

Adèle is not necessarily straight or lesbian. She is confused. She is awkward. She is unsure of herself. While the art student Emma is strong, determined and masculine, she is weak, unambitious, vulnerable. With the help of Emma she explores her own desires and sexuality and meanwhile becomes emotionally attached. Adèle is a character driven purely by her emotions. Attending a gay pride parade she is uncomfortable the same way she was while having sex with the boy from school. The only thing she can be sure of is the love they share. This is where chapter one ends.

The film touches on the controversy over homosexuality and different social attitudes towards it in an objective way, showing the underground culture of lesbian bars and gay parades or the aggressive rejection of Adèle's friends towards her as she is rumoured to be a lesbian. Emma's upper class family is open to the fact that she is in a same sex relationship while Adèle has to lie to her parents about Emma – this conflict of oysters and pasta, bourgeoisie and working class might be the main reason of the couple's separation in the second chapter.

While Adèle is satisfied being a teacher and muse for Emma's paintings Emma would encourage her to evolve and start a career in writing. They are destined to grow apart as Adèle feels more and more uncomfortable around Emma's intellectual friends and Emma becomes busy with her artistic career. While the differences of social presence and intellect become obvious their love also cools down (the same way as Emma's rebellious hair colour of blue changes to neutral brown). After Emma discovers that Adèle has slept with a male colleague out of emotional frustration she ends their relationship and orders her out of her apartment. Time passes and Adèle experiences pain and loss. Still in love with Emma she meets her in a coffee shop only to find out that Emma has become part of a family and does not love her anymore. The two women hug both knowing that their relationship was 'something special', an experience they will never re-live again.

The last time they see each other is when Adèle attends one of Emma's art exhibitions. They have a formal conversation, one of the nudes Emma has painted of Adèle is exhibited. After talking to Samir (Salim Kechiouche), one of Emma's friends, Adèle has a sudden change of heart and leaves the building. Samir attempts to follow her but as he reaches the corner she has disappeared. Her actions could be explained by the realisation that she and Emma never were in a position to understand or accept each other. The happy ending of her finally finding herself and being able to move on to the following chapter of her life is an optimistic conclusion of Adèle's coming-of-age story.

But then again, is it a happy ending? Or was the love of her and Emma something never to be repeated? A concept of losing true love (which might be over-romanticised yet it's not only Adèle who feels loss as Emma's new paintings have "something troubling in their eyes") makes us question if the following chapters of her life are of any importance. However, if she does realise that it wasn't true love, it might suggest that there is no such thing at all. Either way, Kechiche understands and reports on the essence of human relationships, emotions, desires, fears and, well, life.

Read more reviews at: alphashadowsblog.wordpress.com
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3/10
If it wasn't for the gay twist, the same hetero couple storyline would make people leave the movie at the first 20 minutes.
André Guimarães3 January 2014
Awards apart, this movie is neither entertaining nor thought provocative. Two people at an age that one is at high school and other is at college meet and discover love, besides being a lesbian relationship, that is nothing more to add. A lot of day to day chores, almost a documentary of uninteresting people doing uninteresting things to stretch the plot to the limit. It's people being people, everyone with a social life probably had better days. The correct English translation of the title is The Life of Adele, as if the life of the character is just discovering her sexuality in a teenage romance.

If it wasn't for the gay twist, the same storyline with a hetero couple would make people leave the movie at the first 20 minutes.
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8/10
Certainly pushes boundaries, Shows new look on life
Prime5023 September 2013
Of the two competition films I saw in Cannes, this was luckily one of them. If you enjoy foreign cinema at all you will likely find this mesmerizing. I'm a straight male but I couldn't help but feel strongly for the two women during this unconventional love story.

I'll go ahead and let you know that the sex scenes are incredibly graphic (though some have claimed they are unrealistic) and VERY long. I didn't clock any of them but I'm pretty sure one of them is 15 minutes. So, fair warning.

I'd recommend BItWC to anyone who didn't like Transformers 3 or Pirates F-ing 17. Great acting. Great direction. Strong Story. Plus, it's the Palm d'Or.
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1/10
What is the director's obsession with Spaghetti?
michiru7438 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
Full disclosure, I'm a lesbian. My girlfriend and I waited months to see this film. We were so ready to love it. There are not too many lesbian films where no one dies, goes back to men, or goes insane at the end. We WANTED to add this to the tiny list of films that we enjoy that depict relationships that look like ours. And we can't. I hate this film because it betrayed my expectations. I wish I hadn't built up my hopes so much. But enough of my dashed dreams, on to the problems.

Problems:

1) Adele goes back to a man, cause her girlfriend isn't blah blah blah blah. Congratulations, we have stereotype number one! All men assume that lesbians go back to men! Can I start assuming that all men go back to men after they date a horrible woman?

2) What the hell was with the obsession with Spaghetti? I admit, I stopped watching after hour one. I did the dishes, I wandered around the house, I closed my eyes for a cat nap, but EVERY time I looked at the screen someone was shoveling spaghetti in their mouths. I wish the director would just address his deep, dark desire to film tentacle porn and stop pussyfooting with the spaghetti.

3) What do you want to know after Adele gets thrown out of the house for cheating? Do you, as a vaguely interested party, want to see how her family reacts? They've been pretty blasé about the whole lesbian thing so far. Don't you want to know how her family supports her, if they support her, if they say, "So how about that guy you screwed? Is he relationship material?" All these questions will be IGNORED by the film so that you can watch Adele wander around her kindergarten room moping. Because watching this girl mope for the last two hours hasn't been enough! This is not the only incident where the director made a clear and conscious decision to ignore the interesting parts of a human drama to focus on moping, but I simply cannot dredge through my memory to think of all the others.

4) Of course we were ready for some amazing sex cause everybody was talking about it! Halfway through the interminable scene, I put on the the YouTube reaction video of a Cuban grandma watching the sex scene. She was more genuine.

5) Obsession 2: Butts! Statue butts, girls' butts. Everyone else noticed this. I'm not going to dwell.

6) No lesbians do not attempt to f*ck each other in restaurants. Sure, just like heterosexual couples, there may be some bathroom sex here and there, but for god's sake! WHO attempts to finger bang their girlfriend in a restaurant??? That was so awful.

7) Lesbians react to Blue is the Warmest Color Sex Scenes said it best: there's nothing new about guys paying straight women to f*ck each other.

Good points: I'm sorry, I just can't think of any.
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2/10
Explicit and disappointing
Andres Salama1 February 2014
This widely acclaimed, almost three hour movie about adolescent lesbian love in a high school in France is nothing special in my opinion. Tunisian born director Abdelatif Kechiche has shown some sensibility in previous movies (for instance Games of Love and Chance) but this Cannes festival winner feels quite exploitative (his previous movie, Black Venus, was also nasty, disappointing and sensationalistic). The young actresses who play the lead (Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos), who are not porn actresses, appear in very explicit, apparently non simulated sex scenes (including masturbation, oral sex, fingering and doing the sex position popularly known as the 69). It would be interesting to wonder if a lesbian director (instead of a male director) would have filmed this story differently, perhaps less explicitly and more subtly. Interestingly, both actresses have complained after the film was released that they felt exploited during the filming and will not work with the director again. Based on a graphic novel.
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2/10
Disppointing!
Victor Huan27 October 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I highly anticipated this film, mostly because of the glowing reviews by those who evaluate movies for a living. Anyways, the movie itself was a big disappointment. It's marketed as realistic, wrenching love story about two women; I was hopeful that such a movie would be somewhat female centric in it's point of view. I was wrong. This is a movie for men by men. It is replete with beautiful young women who are (surprise surprise) extremely sexual. There are many shots of the main character's backside (in jeans, in pants, in a dress) as she walks away from the camera which feel highly objectifying and gratuitous. The sex scenes (featuring one party masturbation as well as two party lovemaking) are terribly unrealistic and likely represent the director's fantasy of what a woman's sexuality is like.

I want to talk about the main character for a bit. Adele is frankly not believable as a lesbian. I know people are going to take issue with my saying this (how exactly does one "appear" like a lesbian...) but movies are made with some consideration of casting in mind. Characters have to look like the part that they are playing. Adele resembles a male fantasy; traditionally feminine. The contrast between Adele and other, more believable, lesbians is apparent when she ventures into a lesbian bar for the first time. In addition, I kept wondering if Adele was suffering some sort of delay in her intellectual functioning or traumatic brain injury. She eats like a five year old, cries like a 3 year old; she is sexual in public places; she is constantly putting things in her mouth (the scene in the café close to the end of the movie is laughable); her mouth is perpetually open and her eyes have an unfocused dumb quality. I suppose this is charming coming from a beautiful young woman and may contribute (sadly) to her being seen as sexually arousing to men; however, if we were to imagine an older person conducting themselves this way, one would have to consider the diagnosis of dementia.

Despite all the talk of female sexuality in this film, there is little that has to do with women or love. I look back on all of the positive reviews and recall that they were mostly written by men. Put two very attractive, very young women in a movie, include many close-up shots of them, and all of a sudden, this is passed off as a wondrous artistic feat, rather than a lazy effort to cater to the lowest common denominator. The fact that the two leading actresses were awarded the Palme d'Or is preposterous. Even more so because the only other female to win the Palme d'Or is Jane Campion, a film-maker of a totally different caliber.

Women could go see this movie to be reminded of how men think. Or they could simply stay home and Google "two women" or watch a robin thicke music video.

I should end this review by disclosing that I am female.
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