Murphy is an American living in Paris who enters a highly sexually and emotionally charged relationship with the unstable Electra. Unaware of the effect it will have on their relationship, they invite their pretty neighbor into their bed.
Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
Murphy is an American cinema school student, living in Paris. He had a French girlfriend, called Electra, whom he dated for two years. One day, they met and had a no-strings-attached threesome with another woman, a young blonde Danish teenager named Omi, as a way to add some excitement to their love life. But later, he had sex with her behind Electra's back, as a result of which Omi became pregnant. This unplanned pregnancy ended the relationship between Murphy and Electra on a horrible note, and it forced Murphy to marry Omi. In one morning, Electra's mother, Nora, phones him to ask if he's heard from Electra, because she hasn't heard from her for three months, and given her daughter's suicidal tendencies. For the rest of this day, he recalls his past two years with Electra in a series of fragmented, nonlinear flashbacks; how they first met in Paris, their quick hookup, and their lives over the next two years which is filled with drug abuse, rough sex and tender moments.
In the press conference of the film at the Cannes Film Festival, Gaspar Noé stated that the script was seven pages long. See more »
Murphy uses a Loreo 3D camera to take pictures of Electra. At one point he turns the camera on end to shoot. This means the two resulting images will not align correctly to make a single stereoscopic picture.
He also neglects to use the flash in the dimly lit room. See more »
Forget the marketing and chatter, there is a real film here.
The script is laughable and the acting (often voice-over), too. The 3D sex is well marketed. And yes, during certain scenes people got up and left. Yet. The film doesn't argue to be anything beyond a meandering stroll into the gallows melancholy. And it does this very very well. The film features no highbrow intellectual conversations but instead, favors the same lines you've probably slung at your lovers. Again and again and again. Just like the sex you've had with your lovers again and again and again. You know their bodies and you know how to please them and above all, you know how to hurt them. Sorrow. There's a resplendent simplicity here that hypnotizes the viewer.
You hear music banging inside the club, yet the lovers are outside in halflight. Having sex, obviously. This is a good image of what this film surprisingly achieves best: intimacy. And it fights for that with it's magnificent camera-work and editing.
But what would this review be if it didn't talk about the 3D sex? Love and cinema are inseparable. Love stories are why you stick glued to a chair for a couple of hours. Raw sex is part of love, yet, films used to cut to birds necking after a kiss. Then it became steamy windows. Signs, metaphors, analogies, semiotic nausea. And here, Noé takes that away which makes the film even coarser, and ultimately more brutal.
I wanted to write this review because the whole marketing ("finally a love story restricted for -16) and shock value (an eye-rolling warning in the opening credits) have cheapened what this film has achieved and I encourage viewers to look beyond.
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