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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hardly noticed the nudity
I hardly noticed the nudity the first time I saw this film because the story is completely absorbing. The second time I had to agree, there is a lot of Zorg and Betty on view, but it is acted in such an un-selfconcious way that it seems completely natural, this pair are passionately in love, completely absorbed in each other.

There may be Spoilers if you read...
Published on 5 Feb 2010 by VCBF (Val)

versus
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Find the original cut
There is an abiding illusion that Directors know how their movie should be presented and that the Director's Cut is therefore the one to get, the one to wait for. Occasionally perhaps that is true but for other films the studio knew best. This is one of those cases. The film depicts a writer who is becalmed in life until he falls in love with Betty, the muse that will...
Published on 22 July 2010 by Simon


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I hardly noticed the nudity, 5 Feb 2010
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This review is from: Betty Blue (Uncut) [DVD] (DVD)
I hardly noticed the nudity the first time I saw this film because the story is completely absorbing. The second time I had to agree, there is a lot of Zorg and Betty on view, but it is acted in such an un-selfconcious way that it seems completely natural, this pair are passionately in love, completely absorbed in each other.

There may be Spoilers if you read on.
The film charts Betty's deterioration from free-spirited extrovert, with a tendency to over-react to situations, to self-harming introvert Zorg can no longer reach. Actually, it isn't so much about Betty, as about the effect this has on Zorg. Neither is it a film about mental illness, as we, like Zorg, never find out what she is suffering from. The change in Betty is not linear, at times she is happy, stable and loving, everything seems to be going well; which makes the end almost unutterably sad. (I hope that isn't too much of a spoiler.) I think the final breakdown is triggered because she really wants a stable life and a family, then finds she can't have a baby: so this happy life is not to be for her. That isn't really explained very well in the film, perhaps it's only weakness, as you do find yourself yelling Why? Why? Why? at her sometimes. It is elaborated more in the Director's cut; I originally saw the shorter version, but now have the longer one.
Parallel to this story is that Betty encourages Zorg to write. She believes in him and tries everything she can to get his writing published. At the end he is published, but too late for her to know, and is writing another book (and talking to her as the cat, very poignant).
The subsidiary characters are less detailed than the two leads, but are quite well drawn, I particularly warmed to the fun-loving, generous, but emotional Eddy and thought Zorg's rather unpleasant boss deserved what he got.
This film looks amazing, but it is not "look" at the expense of content. Is quite rightly a classic.
Nothing more to add except to say that the English dubbing is poor, so watch and listen to it in French and read the subtitles.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of French film., 9 Oct 2006
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This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
BETTY BLUE (or 37º2 LE MATIN, to give it its original French title) is a film based on a book by Philippe Dijan, and centres around Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a 30-year-old painter and plumber who has written a novel that keeps being refused by publishers. His girlfriend is the titular Betty (a very good start for Béatrice Dalle), a 19-year-old beauty who has a penchant for becoming unpredictable in her behaviour to the point where she could literally be throwing the toys out of the pram.

Zorg has an argument with his boss, which Betty takes very badly and makes our young couple leave the area to try and get Zorg's book published in the big city. However, the refusals from publishers continue, and this causes our wildcat Betty to fly off the handle in her own inimitable way, but her mood swings and rage become an increasing concern for Zorg, and might lead to disastrous consequences. How can their relationship possibly survive?

I've not read the original book, but nothing can alter the fact that this is a highly accomplished example of French cinema at its best, directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. Each shot is beautifully coloured, with clever uses of blues and yellows in particular. Anglade and Dalle are fantastic to watch, with very believable performances from the pair of them, and you wonder what could have happened to Dalle had she not had the occasional moments similar to her Betty character in real life (one altercation with the law reportedly denied her the ability to get a US visa to get a role on THE SIXTH SENSE). Dalle in particular really sets the screen alight with her beautiful smile and alluring performance.

There is a fair bit of sex and nudity in this film. In fact, the very moment that the opening credits end you're in a sex scene! You also see a lot of shots of full-frontal nudity from both of the principal performers, and the most prudish might be a bit annoyed about the number of times Anglade walks around naked with, ahem, everything on show. But in all fairness this is a different culture, and the whole film certainly doesn't come off as gratuitous when there's so much else to marvel at. Yes, the film is almost three hours long, but it's not really a drag at all (and nobody says you have to watch the whole thing at once on DVD).

The music plays an integral part in the film, especially from the moment that the two end up in a piano store and play a tune together, which resurfaces in later key parts of the film. Gabriel Yared composed the score.

Given Betty's problems, you might think that the film's all doom and gloom when she goes into one of her rages, but in fact there are plenty of times when she's really sweet and smiley, and the film is punctuated with some light-hearted comic moments that do not detract from the film in any way.

Wonderful film.
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A modern classic - stunning, 8 Jun 2007
This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
If I could give this film 6 stars, I would have.

This is a beautiful, haunting piece that has deservedly become a classic. The almost unbearable delay to its DVD release no doubt added to its mystique and cult status (along with that wonderful poster), but regardless, it is quite simply wonderful.

21 years since it's original release, it remains one of the very few examples of a film being as good as the novel - in fact, it's possibly even better.

Impeccably acted, with a wonderful script and haunting camera work, somehow it manages to exemplify the eighties while retaining a timeless quality. Beatrice Dalle is simply stunning - not just in her beauty but in the way she obssesses and seduces both the lead male character and the viewer.

It's almost a shame that she won this role so early in her career as she has never bettered it - and will probably never be able to. She therefore remains a very under-rated actress.

Essential viewing for any lover of French cinema - essential viewing in fact for any lover of quality cinema.

Buy it - you won't be disappointed, but you may be a little bit haunted ...
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Find the original cut, 22 July 2010
By 
Simon (Birmingham, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
There is an abiding illusion that Directors know how their movie should be presented and that the Director's Cut is therefore the one to get, the one to wait for. Occasionally perhaps that is true but for other films the studio knew best. This is one of those cases. The film depicts a writer who is becalmed in life until he falls in love with Betty, the muse that will give life back to his creativity. But as his art is reborn so she slips into madness and decay as if it is her very spirit of life itself that she is surrendering to save that which her lover needs most of all.

In the original the love, the climb, is the length of the movie, funny, touching, poetic and sensual. The decay is portrayed quickly and savagely. The point is made, the story told. In the Director' s cut the decay goes on forever and by the end of an extra hour of depression you long for her end as an end to your own suffering. This entirely changes the emotional journey of the film and for me ruined it. If you can find it then get the studio cut. That one is five stars.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great film about mental breakdown, 28 May 2009
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This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
Hollywood films are replete with violence and death,but human sexuality and nudity is basically taboo.One reason "Betty Blue" has a cult status is because of the lashings of nudity,male and female,scattered through the film.For some odd reason,les anglosaxons got all worked up by this,so don't watch this if you're easily offended.You'll see why in the first few minutes,as the film starts with a very realistic-looking sex scene.
It isn't porn by any means,the nudity and sexual scenes are frank but not sleazy.The story of the film is basically the rise and fall of a relationship between a man and a woman,and the concurrent collapse of the woman's mental health.The only other film I've seen that deals with the theme of psychotic breakdown is Polanski's "Repulsion",which,unlike this,uses the subject as a theme for a horror film."Betty Blue" shows that mental illness attacks pretty young women who have a seemingly happy life.
Great photography and music,and great acting from Beatrice Dalle and the rest of the cast.Well worth a watch.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love's Roller Coaster, 1 Jan 2006
By 
L. Davidson (Belfast, N.Ireland) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
"Betty Blue" is never less than captivating from start to finish. The film is a love story about two misfits who become soul mates; Zorg is an unambitious handyman with ambitions to become a writer, while Betty is a beautiful , but mentally disturbed waitress with a violent streak. Their love affair develops as they move from the coast first to Paris and then to a village in the mountains. The acting and characterisation is superb as is the storyline and cinematography . "Betty Blue" captures the essence of the roller coaster ride of deep obsessional love ; the powerful sense of profound vitality and purpose mixed with anxiety and despair at the prospect of it's loss. My only criticism of the film would be that I thought it was a little overlong at three hours, although it was never boring, and the end was a bit harrowing too. "Betty Blue" was groundbreaking in its day with regards to the copious amount of nudity and the ,ammm, very realistic sex scenes displayed in the film. So don't watch it you find that offensive.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must watch for the film afficionado., 22 July 2007
This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
37.2 Le Matin(Betty Blue) is a brilliant piece of work. Jean-Huhues Anglades' natural performance as Zorg in this easy going - take life as it comes story line makes you want to see more of him. To see someone you love violently erode away is painful and Robins' beautiful camera work with the slow tracking makes the visual experience stimulating. The slow pace of this tale of love and friendship is no cause of concern. Very French, the nudity is handled beautifully. The subtle use of the color yellow is interesting. The film makes you want to be free to live a life of impulse and simplicity. A must watch for the film aficionado.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars cult film of the eighties, 21 May 2014
By 
schumann_bg - See all my reviews
(TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
Jean-Jacques Beineix's Betty Blue is a kind of cult film of the eighties and as such above criticism, and its reputation is not hard to understand. It is a full-on love affair between Zorg and Betty, much of which is conducted in the nude, a state which both the actors pull off very well. The images are very composed, with every nuance of colour and lighting thought out to the last detail. Many of the shots look like the postcards of that era of sunsets, or rooms lit through filters. As if on cue, the sax then plays ... or a piano. However it is hard to escape a feeling of thinness, of style over substance. The performances are very good, particularly the two leads, but it grafts Betty's descent into madness onto a candy backdrop of pure fantasy, with three scene changes: from beach to Paris to mountain town. No obvious source of income is shown except about two pianos sold, and no sense of a social context. It just goes from one idea for a scene to the next, occasionally using another couple, but largely sticking to Zorg and Betty.

It would probably help if the spaces the film creates were appealing, but I have to say I didn't find them so. To others, they may work in the fairytale way intended. As for Béatrice Dalle, she does have something unique, sashaying across the beach in a dress that looks more like a skimpy apron, which remarkably preserves her modesty while sailing as close to the wind as any garment can. Her face has a prettiness that lends itelf to pouting sexiness, and she is more engaging than Isabelle Adjani in a similarly under-dressed, unstable role in One Deadly Summer of 3 years earlier. For people who respond to her magnetism, the film cannot fail; Jean-Hugues Anglade impressed me more for conveying the feeling of really being in love, especially in the latter stages; he gives the film a certain nobility. He's also brave to agree to so much full-frontal nudity, which seems justified by the characters. His dressing up in drag also seems like a throwback to Dressed To Kill, partly because it feels so arbitrary. Why that disguise in particular? But the film is not about asking questions; it's about feeling the vibe and appreciating Dalle as a brunette bombshell, mainly.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding French Cinema!, 16 Mar 2008
This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
A true French classic and one of my favourite films of all time. It depicts a story of a woman whose life seems to be tormented by invisible demons, and the man who loves her. She comes into his life like a whirlwind, challenging him to become the writer he's always wanted to be. Everything she does is with such passion and aggression.

But her increasingly aberrant behaviour means that, after attacking his boss and causing such mayhem, they have to up and leave quickly. A pattern that continues as Betty is always unsatisfied, always chasing something.

Things become more desperate as she spirals into a deranged world, so much so that Zorg has to think of how he can finally save the woman he loves from more pain.

There are many amazing stand out scenes in this film. In one, Zorg is standing naked playing with a frankfurter! For lovers of French cinema, I cannot recommend this film enough. But then, if you love French cinema, you will probably already know this as a classic.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars C'est le vent, Betty..., 21 Dec 2006
This review is from: Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] (DVD)
A moody, romantic, whimsical film, undoubtedly more than the sum of its parts with convincing and gritty performances, beautiful cinematography, and a soundtrack that literally speaks for itself. Sometimes the film is a little overwraught, but then so are Betty and Zorg, caught up as they are in Betty's terrible instabilities. Watch it and you'll just want to watch it again - there's just too much to enjoy/appreciate for one viewing.

I'd recommend getting the soundtrack too - I'm not a big soundtrack fan, but this really is a great production, very atmospheric, perfect on a summer's day with all thw windows open wide.
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Betty Blue - Director's Cut   [1986] [DVD]
Betty Blue - Director's Cut [1986] [DVD] by Jean-Jacques Beineix (DVD - 2006)
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