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Blue Is the Warmest Colour [DVD]
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92 of 99 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 9 January 2014
I honestly don`t know where to begin in praising this all but flawless French film.
Occasionally - though not often enough - a film comes along which leaves one open-mouthed in wonder and gratitude, that one this exceptional and this intelligent is still capable of being being made, and that it is receiving the generally rave reviews it so plainly deserves.
Much has been made of the lengthy naked sexual scenes, as well as the two leading actresses` complaints about the director`s methods - which they have since modifed, I`m glad to say, being rightly proud of their performances in this beautiful and honest work of art. Thankfully, as much has been made of the unique nature of this masterpiece, as I believe it to be.
Adele Exarchopoulos plays Adele, a sexually confused but personable, intelligent teenager on the verge of womanhood. To state so much so baldly is to come nowhere near to describing the astonishing brilliance of this actress`s portrayal, with not a single moment where she looks as if she`s `acting`, such is her naturalness, which never becomes tiresome or repetitive (even as her character`s does at times - work that one out!). This must in lage part be down to the relentlessness and sensitivity of director Abdellatif Kechiche, who doesn`t put a foot wrong during the three hours over which this deceptively simple tale unfolds.
The slightly older young woman Adele falls for, and who falls for her too, is played with restained, pitch-perfect warmth and likeability by the experienced Lea Seydoux, whose eyes are as expressive as anything I`ve seen for a long time, and who possesses an almost languidly hypnotic way of showing her character`s various traits and foibles.
Both women offer incredible performances in an adult and truthful, yet totally unsensationalist, film about love. It`s about other things too - betrayal, trust, prejudice, bullying, work, grief, and the pain of a love lost.
The sexual passages are, to me, both erotic (those who deny this are surely simply unwilling to admit as much: "Of course, I didn`t find it at all titillating or arousing" tends to be the sniffy cry of such people) and - the more one watches, entranced - nothing less than beautiful. I have seldom - if ever - seen a feature film which is so unapologetically honest about human sexuality. There is no attempt to conceal anything, no coyness, yet neither does Kechiche descend into mere prurience (which I am aware will be a matter of opinion and much contention).
The other roles are perfectly cast, in particular the two sets of parents, at whose dinner tables we witness two scenes both humorous and, in one case, subtly infused with barely-concealed tension.
Adele`s progress from fairly gauche teenager to a woman a little more at ease in her own body is extremely touching, the final held shot of the film open-ended, and another echo of the film`s enigmatic title.
As you can tell, I adored this wonderful film, and am grateful that there are still artists around willing to make films for thinking adults who desire something which resonates long after leaving the cinema.

If this doesn`t end up as my film of the year, then I can`t wait to see the one that betters it.
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26 of 28 people found the following review helpful
TOP 50 REVIEWERon 17 February 2014
Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a rewarding film that holds your interest for its three hour running time, although I wondered if it was a bit long. The first hour is outstanding, showing Adele in her final year at school and hesitating between boys and girls. It is painful but somehow conveys the freshness of these tentative encounters, firstly with a boy. This episode was very touching, and made you feel for both parties. Adele is a girl you like straight off the bat; she's so natural, so sincere and feeling - really an ideal person. I'm not surprised the director Abdellatif Kechiche felt so compelled to tell her story. When she meets Emma it continues to be thoroughly magical in feeling, but I liked it a bit less as the relationship began to show signs of strain. The turn of events in the last hour feels slightly forced to me, without wanting to give too much away. Both actresses are wonderful, but first honours must go to Adele Exarchopoulos, as Adele (the original comic on which it is based is called 'La Vie d'Adele'). She is simply wonderful in front of the camera, and you completely believe everything she does. Lea Seydoux is also excellent, but the role is somewhat secondary. The focus on Adele is a bit like that on Gena Rowlands in A Woman Under The Influence, or Emily Watson in Breaking The Waves, and the film also reminded me a bit of the gay male lovers in Weekend. There is the same rawness, the same unflinching gaze at sexuality and emotion. However I did feel it was a little too relentlessly shot in close-up, perhaps, and its setting of intimacy right next to party or street scenes with dancing became a little overused, at the expense of showing us more of Adele's home life, for instance, or tying up other threads in her life - her school friends etc. The problem with spanning a number of years is the way many characters - including her parents - seem to drop out of the picture quite casually, so that it is as open-ended as the spaghetti her father seems so fond of serving (and Adele herself). Kechiche clearly shares a love of food with his heroine, but parts of it end up looking a bit like a home movie because it isn't quite structured enough.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Romance movies, be they comedy or drama (or those awful Judd Apatow fusions), rarely show the full spectrum of tenderness and horror that love can do to a person (and when they do it's usually sugar-coated and 'Hollywood', such as most things adapted from the book by Nicholas Sparks). With love comes happiness and security but when it is suddenly taken away from you there is only hollowness and despair.

Adele is a high school senior pressured into having sex with boys to appease her nasty "friends". She enjoys it, but still feels that it is wrong. A split-second encounter in the street with blue-haired artist Emma leads to love at first sight and Adele can't get her out of her mind, fantasizing about her in bed at night. Lesbian urges grow inside her and she finally builds the courage to find Emma and falls head-over-heels in love with her.

Adele's sexuality (and, by extension, Emma's too) causes problems with her school friends, her family (a scene in which she was disowned was unwisely cut from the final movie), and Emma's own circle. Her jealousy eventually leads to critical trust issues. It's a sin that everybody is guilty of at some point.

Abdellatif Kechiche fills the movie with very long, following takes which highlight the mundane existence of Adele as she longs for love. The sex scenes are passionate and believable, punctuated with moans and gasps rather than music and are shot in realistic light which is not too unflattering. None of the actresses wear make-up, allowing their full range of facial expressions to show their true emotions, including messy, greasy hair. The sex scenes are nothing to get offended about, they are tasteful and honest and only a prude would object. Anyone taking the film seriously will find it hard to not be emotionally affected by them. But they are not pornographic.

However I did find the "food mouth" close-up shots at the beginning to be a major turn-off.

Blue is the Warmest Color is most certainly a film that will linger in your mind for a long time and will resonate, or maybe open old wounds, of people who have loved and lost. It's a very hard watch and not really a movie you can enjoy, but I'd sooner have this over anything starring Jennifer Aniston or Goldie Hawn's daughter.

The Blu-ray sports a 2.35:1 picture that is good for the most part with lovely warm colors (HA!) but suffers from looking quite "digital" during the darker nighttime scenes. I will assume that this is a problem with the fake widescreen photography and loss of resolution with the cropping (the movie was shot with a Canon C300 which has a native ratio of 1.78:1 and then simply cropped to 2.35:1 in post-production, which is a lazy way of achieving the aspect ratio). The realistic sound design is in good DTS HD-MA and there are a small amount of extras.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 14 June 2014
Fantastic film, one of those films like Lost in Translation that just documents the lives of people over a period of time rather than have some complicated plot, but that's more than enough. Adele was so watchable and I thought the sex scenes were proportionate.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 21 March 2014
It's an universal love story whose characters just so happen to be women.They could easily be a man/woman or two men.
I seriously believe that the only persons who dislike this film have never been in love or have something against same sex relations.
Buy it with no remorse.Or wait for The Deluxe Criterion Edition.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on 5 November 2013
Here I must correct the first reviewer on quite an important matter:

Never before, The Palme d'Or, as the highest movie award at the Cannes Film Festival is called, is split into three!
So it's not only the brilliant directing of Abdellatif Kechiche, but also the brilliant acting of the both wonderfull
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux that was brought into the spotlights!
This movie needs time to 'sink in'. I left the theater with mixed feelings, it was later that evening, that I couldn't
get it out of my mind! It seems like that in (just..) three hours of time, I gained years of life experience..
Much is already said about the 10 minute 'love scene', Ok, I myself thought "does this really need to be this long?"
Maybe it was to express the difference of Adèle's feelings of being with a girl instead of a boy...?
But let me tell you that there is much, much more to this movie than this worldwide debated love scene, so why the fuss??
It's about aspects of life that is all around us, and I loved to be able to feel as close to them as I can possibly be.
Go see this movie, and see for yourself. But allow, and give it time to sink in..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 13 August 2014
After hearing a hell of a lot about this film i decided i would check it out, and i'm glad i did. This is an excellent french language film. It's quite long (nearly 3 hours) but doesn't feel that way. The characters are nicely developed and you can feel the heat of their relationship from behind the tv screen. A must-see.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Boy or boy - nearly three hours long with the actors encouraged to improvise scenes that are so long you could go and make a cup of tea and not miss much. This doesn't diminish its quality, the in the moment reality of it, the chance to follow moods and views as they develop in the character's mind. Highly sexually explicit at times, though not indulgent if you are making a point about the close bond between two people that forms as a result of a great deal of good sex! And over time the story and relationships shift leaving you with your own conclusions about relationships of any kind. Tender. True.
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on 19 December 2014
Tunisian-French screenwriter, producer and director Abdellatif Kechiche`s fifth feature film which he co-wrote with screenwriter Ghalia Lacroix, is a loose adaptation of a graphic novel from 2010 by French graphic novelist and visual artist Julie Maroh. It premiered In competition at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival in 2013, was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 38th Toronto International Film Festival in 2013, was shot on locations in France and is a France-Belgium-Spain co-production which was produced by producers Olivier Théry-Lapiney and Laurence Clerc. It tells the story about a fifteen-year-old French girl named Adèle who lives with her mother and father in a house in a city of French Flanders. Whilst interpreting parts of a novel as an obligatory part of her secondary education where one of the central themes in the book is love at first sight, Adèle is encouraged by her close circle of friends to acquaint a fellow student named Thomas whom has expressed his interest in her.

Distinctly and precisely directed by Tunisian-French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche, this finely paced fictional tale which is narrated from multiple viewpoints though mostly from the main character`s point of view, draws a gripping portrayal of an aspiring school teacher from a working-class family whom after having befriended a same-aged boy encounters an intellectual painter who studies at an academy called Beaux Arts named Emma. While notable for its atmospheric and variegated milieu depictions, reverent cinematography by cinematographer Sofian El Fani, production design by production designer Julia Lemaire and use of sound, colors and light, this character-driven and narrative-driven story about how interpersonal relations are affected by social injustice and social differences and how human beings relate to their first experience of loneliness, where acting is taken to an almost hazardous level of emotional realism, which is more externalized than internalized and where a daughter whom has just discovered that she is attracted to a woman enters a new romance without guarding her emotions, depicts an increasingly heartrending study of character.

This memorably atmospheric, eloquently humerous, sociologically romantic and ultimately authentic coming-of-age indie love-story which is set in a city in France in the late 20th century, which envisages three of the finest hours of fictional love in 2013, where the emphasis on aesthetics nearly precedes the human aspects and where a high school student who uncritically embraces what life has to offer her is excluded by her friends as a consequence of making a decision which at the time seems like the most honest thing to do for her and introduced to a new lifestyle which makes her feel misplaced, is impelled and reinforced by its cogent narrative structure, substantial character development, subtle continuity, efficient film editing, timely use of music, involving dialog, crucial interplay and the strikingly excruciating acting performances by French actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. A present, rarely lingering and accomplished narrative feature which gained, among numerous other awards, the Palme d`Or at the 66th Cannes Film Festival in 2013.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 July 2014
A very cleverly directed French movie, addresses homosexuality. The story is about a young woman that falls in love with a few years older lesbian. It portrays the difficulties the young woman faces and have to go through when she realises she is gay. It shows not only her own challenges with herself but with parent, schoolmates and close friends too. It also depicts the friendship and warmhearted people she gets to know, meeting the woman with the blue hair. The movie has sexual explicit scene directed and performed wonderfully.
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