Blue is the Warmest Colour

Film

Romance

La Vie D'Adele - Blue is the Warmest Colour

Time Out rating:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>5</span>/5

User ratings:

<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>3</span>/5
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Time Out says

Posted: Thu May 23 2013

‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ is a minutely detailed, searingly erotic three-hour study of first lesbian love. Its writer-director, the French-Tunisian Abdellatif Kechiche, had a setback with his last film, 2010’s ‘Black Venus’. An imposing biopic of the nineteenth-century South African slave-turned-freakshow-act Saartjie Baartman it proved too harrowing a vision for British or American distributors. Most directors would retreat into safer territory after an experience like that, but most directors aren’t Kechiche. ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ is the most brazenly singular return the ‘Couscous’ director could have made, and the richest film of his career to boot.

Nothing about the film’s coming-of-age narrative, nor the rise and fall of its core romance, is intrinsically new or daring, yet Kechiche’s freewheeling perspective on young desire is uncommon in its emotional maturity. Our heroine, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos, astonishing), begins the film as a precocious high-schooler and ends it as a grown woman still with plenty to learn about herself. Unlike so many same-sex-themed films that focus on coming out as the defining gay experience, ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ glides past that stage of Adèle’s life in a bold chronological leap, finding more nuanced drama in the evolving challenges of maintaining an unfixed sexuality.

Adèle is 15 when she senses something amiss in her dating life. Dreamy schoolmate Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte) is all over her, but she can’t get a fleeting pavement encounter with blue-haired art student Emma (Léa Seydoux) out of her mind. The girls meet again on Emma’s timid first trip to a lesbian bar, and love swiftly blossoms – leading into some of the most graphically sensual girl-on-girl sex scenes in screen history. Yet in contrast to the older, more cosmopolitan Emma, Adèle never entirely relaxes into her sexual identity, and is still keeping it carefully guarded when the film skips forward several years to find the couple living together in fragile domestic bliss.

From this simple, not especially unique love story, Kechiche has fashioned an intimate epic in every sense of the term, its every subtle emotional turn rendered widescreen on Exarchopoulos’s exquisitely expressive face. Just 19 years old, the actress effortlessly charts Adèle’s growth from young adult to young woman. Typically for a Kechiche film, meanwhile, her individual journey is set within a bustling, articulate network of friends, family and food. He remains a most sociable filmmaker, which makes his new film’s tingly behind-closed-doors tenderness all the more remarkable.

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Release details

UK release:

Fri Nov 15, 2013

Duration:

179 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

3.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:0
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:5
LiveReviews|17
2 people listening
Paula A

I am a lesbian and seeing this film has given me a deep disgust and rejection of seeing a morbid man as Kechiche sadly reduces us to the same old thing: mere objects of male curiosity and porn. Here there is no depth, no brilliant script, no plot, no transcendent issue... nothing more than 15 minutes of ridiculous wild sex for men with the intention of selling the movie disguised as the biggest love history story ever told, but it's only pornography. If two men have been the protagonists (or a man and a woman), the director would never have recreated in a sex scene between them like this and the movie would not have been so brightfull for critics. This movie offers nothing more than the curiosity of female homosexuality and especially the explicit images to prove it. If the couple had been heterosexual and if realistic sex had been treated in a more subtle manner, this movie never had been so praised. But of course, heterosexual critics liked it a lot and for that reason this film won Cannes. It sucks. What a shame.

Sorry, but I can't admire nothing in a film with a male director abusing actresses and putting his pornish fantasies all over the screen and calling it art.

MikeT

Good, but not as good as I was expecting. Certainly the widely reported sex scenes are as graphic as they're supposed to be. But ultimately all very depressing and not a film I'd go and see again, or get on DVD.

Ana F

Beautiful and honest account of a relationship, with all its ups and downs. Superb acting.

Ana F

Beautiful and honest account of a relationship, with all its ups and downs. Superb acting.

james

Beautifully shot, with some incredible performances and cool dialogue, but ruined by the editing, far too many unnecessary scenes, including the sex, which made me laugh, sex is so ridiculous to watch, animals humping - what is one meant to think? Are we meant to be impressed by the directors' courage or something?

sticky

Don't listen to all those one-star reviews who knock the film. Remember most serious film journalists have given it 4 or 5 stars. Time Out is just one of loads of 5 star reviews. This film has depth and lots of it. Speaking as a gay man, this is no 'Brokeback Mountain' (no film could EVER match that) but this lesbian romance is about as great as it could get. Yes, many of the ordinary and dramatic scenes are long (granted a few sex scenes are a bit too long) but there's so much detail and such emotion etched on the faces of the two female leads, as well as all the fab supporting turns. Remember this film won the Palm d'Or at Cannes, with a jury headed by Steven Spielberg and it included such luminaries as Daniel Auteuil, Nicole Kidman, Christophe Waltz and the incredible Ang "Brokeback" Lee. If I were wondering whose opinion to trust, I know whose I'd go for. I have to say though that the film gets five stars rather than four because of one person alone.....the absolutely incredible lead actress, Adele Exarchopoulos. She tied with Cate Blanchett for Best Actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and she fully deserves to give Cate a good run for her money at the Oscars in a couple of months. The actress is in virtually every scene for three hours and you will get carried along on this rollercoaster of emotions with the character, simply because of the skill of this amazing 20 year-old actress. As for the very end of the film and the last couple of shots outside the gallery, they just put the icing on this incredible cake.

sticky

Don't listen to all those one-star reviews who knock the film. Remember most serious film journalists have given it 4 or 5 stars. Time Out is just one of loads of 5 star reviews. This film has depth and lots of it. Speaking as a gay man, this is no 'Brokeback Mountain' (no film could EVER match that) but this lesbian romance is about as great as it could get. Yes, many of the ordinary and dramatic scenes are long (granted a few sex scenes are a bit too long) but there's so much detail and such emotion etched on the faces of the two female leads, as well as all the fab supporting turns. Remember this film won the Palm d'Or at Cannes, with a jury headed by Steven Spielberg and it included such luminaries as Daniel Auteuil, Nicole Kidman, Christophe Waltz and the incredible Ang "Brokeback" Lee. If I were wondering whose opinion to trust, I know whose I'd go for. I have to say though that the film gets five stars rather than four because of one person alone.....the absolutely incredible lead actress, Adele Exarchopoulos. She tied with Cate Blanchett for Best Actress from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and she fully deserves to give Cate a good run for her money at the Oscars in a couple of months. The actress is in virtually every scene for three hours and you will get carried along on this rollercoaster of emotions with the character, simply because of the skill of this amazing 20 year-old actress. As for the very end of the film and the last couple of shots outside the gallery, they just put the icing on this incredible cake.

hackneyvi

The film's general naturalness and sobriety carries it but it seemed a very slight story where little of visible significance took place beyond the meeting of the girls themselves. They have a few meals, meet the folks and split up. The relationship ending because of an established trait of dishonesty was felicitous but I wasn't much moved by the film. It is well-played and I do wonder if some scripted subtlety is lost on viewers (such as I) who are dependent on English subtitles. I am given no choice by Time Out; I have to give stars if I want to express an opinion. I loathe the star system so it gets 1. If it was optional, I'd vote a strong 3. If I were a gay woman, I might be much more moved; overall, it simply seemed a little ordinary - girl meets girl, they go out then split up.

Eugene

A profoundly boring film with a few scenes of lesbian porn thrown in. Look elsewhere if you want to watch something interesting, or beautiful, or moving. As for lesbian porn - I am sure you know where to find such films.

Robert

I knew that there was something wrong when we walked into what was a virtually empty cinema as the programme started. And no my premonition was correct, the empty cinema as the film started meant that I had not picked up on what most other Londoners had obviously heard. I had read the reviews (yes, 5 star from Time Out's Guy Lodge) expecting a great film only to be presented with a clumsy, self-indulgent and truly dull and boring film that went on and on and on and on.....Virtually every scene, however short, was too long and the script was so trite it was embarrassing. I only regret that I had not been warned about the film as clearly so many others were and had gone to see something entertaining and at least moderately intelligent. The problem with this film is not that it might be censored (see below), but that it was n't - and the more it would have been cut, the better; ideally down to about fifteen minutes. I really find it difficult to justify the one star that I am forced to give it.

Jessica Kate

Where is this showing in the UK? Heard wonderful things about it and want to see it asap- but can't see any listings apart from the LLF ones that have passed. HELP! x

Jessica Kate

Where is this showing in the UK? Heard wonderful things about it and want to see it asap- but can't see any listings apart from the LLF ones that have passed. HELP! x