Blue Is the Warmest Color reviews

Greg
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Re: Blue Is the Warmest Color reviews

Postby Greg » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:59 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Gravity is a movie about people lost in space; this is a movie about people lost in everyday life and emotions, like most of us, which makes it infinitely more interesting for me. . .


So, I take it you disagree with this quote by Roger Ebert, “It's not what a movie is about, it's how it is about it.”
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Re: Blue Is the Warmest Color reviews

Postby Big Magilla » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:48 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Gravity is a movie about people lost in space; this is a movie about people lost in everyday life and emotions, like most of us, which makes it infinitely more interesting for me, though, I'm afraid, not for many others on this board (at one point, during one of its famously explicit sex scenes, I instinctively thought - Big Magilla CAN'T see this!).

Very funny. I will see it, but probably not anytime soon. I don't think it's a film that will be shown anywhere near where I can get to it. I'll have to wait for the DVD.
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Re: Blue Is the Warmest Color reviews

Postby ITALIANO » Fri Nov 01, 2013 12:15 pm

Gravity is a movie about people lost in space; this is a movie about people lost in everyday life and emotions, like most of us, which makes it infinitely more interesting for me, though, I'm afraid, not for many others on this board (at one point, during one of its famously explicit sex scenes, I instinctively thought - Big Magilla CAN'T see this!).

It's also the kind of movie that I can't write about in a language which is not mine - it deserves much more than what I can express in my limited English. But it's really very good - with The Great Beauty, the only truly great movie I've seen till now this year. It's three hours of mostly close-ups, yet it's so absorbing, so intense, that it feels like one hour and a half. It may be about lesbians, but it's actually, and more generally, about love and attraction, and about choices, growing up; it's about our roots and our social background and how how these influence us in subtle ways. And it's about being alone, being in a couple, and being in a group.

It's also abour sex, and rarely has sex - straight or gay - been shown so frankly in a "serious" movie, yet always fully justified by the story the movie tells. You never feel that it's for commercial purposes, that it's there just for its "shock" value.

This movie has a honesty - I'd say even a purity - which not only is totally absent in recent American cinema, but which is becoming sadly very rare in European cinema, too.

It's wonderfully, unaffectedly acted by two young, daring, impressive actresses with impressively "real" faces. which should obviously be Oscar-nominated but obviously won't be (Sandra Bullock will be). The (adapted) screenplay will hopefully prove luckier, and considering that Steven Spielberg at Cannes was one of the main supporters of this movie, I'd say that a portion of the Academy - and a small portion of Americans, too - could appreciate this not "easy" but infinitely rewarding film experience.

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Re: Blue Is the Warmest Color reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Wed May 22, 2013 4:57 pm

Hollywood Reporter

Blue is the Warmest Color: Cannes Review
12:30 PM PDT 5/22/2013 by Jordan Mintzer
3 7 0 0 0 Email Print Comments . .The Bottom Line
A sprawling, emotionally absorbing tale of young love from Franco-Tunisian auteur Abdellatif Kechiche.
Venue
Cannes Film Festival (Competition)

Director
Abdellatif Kechiche

Cast
Adele Exarchopoulos, Lea Seydoux, Salim Kechiouche, Mona Walravens, Jeremie Laheurte
Lea Seydoux and newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos headline writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche's latest exploration of love, loss and class.

Blue is the Warmest Color (La Vie d’Adele, Chapitres 1 et 2) may be the title of Tunisian-born French director Abdellatif Kechiche’s latest sprawling drama, but the emotions—and the sex, of which there is beaucoup—definitely run red hot in this deeply moving portrait of a young girl’s climb towards adulthood in the arms of another woman. Surely to raise eyebrows with its show-stopping scenes of non-simulated female copulation, the film is actually much more than that: it’s a passionate, poignantly handled love story which, despite an unhinged 3-hour running time, is held together by phenomenal turns from Lea Seydoux and newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos, in what is clearly a breakout performance.

After taking a stab at historical tragedy with the biopic Black Venus, Kechiche returns to the roots of his 2003 sophomore effort, Games of Love and Chance, focusing once again on adolescent angst, class discrimination and thwarted love, albeit of a very different kind. So although the 175-minute cut of Blue screened in competition at Cannes will definitely have to scale some hurdles (or employ a pair of scissors) to find distribution outside France, there’s a simple enough story at the film’s core for audiences to connect with, while several heart-rending moments make the long haul worth it.

Loosely adapted by Kechiche and Ghalya Lacroix from the prize-winning Gallic graphic novel by Julie Maroh, the script is separated into two sections (the “chapters” of the French title) spanning a decade in the life of high school student Adele (Exarchopoulos), who lives in a blue-collar home in the northern city of Lille. We’re first introduced to her in class—in a scene reminiscent of Games—during a lecture on Pierre de Marivaux’s novel La Vie de Marianne, for which the teacher wonders aloud: “How do you understand that the heart is missing something?”

That’s the question the film tries to answer throughout its long and winding narrative, as we follow Adele during her first, unsuccessful relationship with a charming fellow student, Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte), and then, into the embraces of the mysterious, blue-haired art school chick Emma (Seydoux), who she connects with in a lesbian bar after having seen her earlier on. As it soon becomes clear, whatever Adele’s heart was lacking with Thomas is soon enough filled by her burgeoning affair with Emma, and despite suffering the wrath of her gay-bashing buddies, she’s clearly hooked from the start.

And it’s easy to see why. Because once the two girls get into bed together, they forge a sexual bond that Kechiche captures in ways few directors have done before him, allowing their lovemaking to play out in extended takes that definitely cross the barrier between performance and the real deal. Yet, the bedroom scenes are a far cry from softcore porn or art-house exploitation: what they show—amid various positions, moaning and exposed flesh (not to mention suggestive oyster slurping, in one playful sequence)—is that sex and love can, in the best cases, become one and the same, uniting two people who may actually have less in common than they believe.

Such contrasts are explored in the film’s second half, which picks up after Adele and Emma have moved in together, with the former working as a kindergarten teacher and the latter pursuing her career as a painter. Having already hinted at the girls’ class differences during two family dinner scenes, Kechiche begins revealing how their disparate personalities and backgrounds, especially when it comes to art and culture, are gradually driving them apart—a reality that comes to the forefront at a party where Adele appears as the apron-wearing housewife among Emma’s friends.

It’s a compelling way to shift the story’s focus from issues of gender and sexual identity to questions of social belonging, and Blue winds up going beyond the original comic book to provide a sharp commentary on how couples struggle, and don’t always manage, to overcome their innate differences, even if the sex is still really, really good. And so when things eventually explode between the two lovebirds and Adele faces an arduous chagrin d’amour in all her blubbering, snot-dripping glory, Kechiche brings us back to the question posed by Marivaux, answering it in a way that's extremely convincing.

Less concerned with classic storytelling than with creating virtual performance pieces on screen, the film features dozens of extended sequences of Adele and Emma both in and out of bed—scenes that are virtuously acted and directed, even if they run on for longer than most filmmakers would allow. But such a technique is precisely why Kechiche belongs in the same camp as John Cassavetes or Maurice Pialat, eschewing narrative concision in favor of the messy realities of life, and creating works that can be as ambitiously bloated as they are emotionally jarring.

Despite such obvious longeurs, the central turn from 19-year-old Exarchopoulos (Carre blanc), who DP Sofian El Fani captures in every state possible, manages to hold it all together, and the actress can really make you feel things only suggested at in other movies, especially when it comes to the ecstasy and agony of a first relationship. Playing opposite her, Seydoux (also in Cannes film Grand Central) shows how much she’s matured from a gorgeous It-girl to a daring young talent, and this is clearly some of the best work in her short career.

With four credited editors, including co-writer Lacroix, shaping all the footage into a workable whole, the pacing and performances never slow down despite the running time, while the story feels like it could just keep going. Perhaps this is what Kechiche intended with such an open-ended original title, although, as the film’s moving final sequence suggests, this chapter in Adele’s life has definitely closed.

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Blue Is the Warmest Color reviews

Postby Mister Tee » Wed May 22, 2013 4:16 pm

The current favorite for the Palme, or, at least, best actress.

Variety

Cannes Film Review: ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’
A searingly intimate character study marked by the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory. Justin Chang
Senior Film Critic

“I have infinite tenderness for you,” one woman tells another in “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” and it’s a sentiment that also describes director Abdellatif Kechiche’s attitude toward his characters in this searingly intimate, daringly attenuated portrait of a French teenager and her passionate relationship with another femme. Post-screening chatter will inevitably swirl around not only the galvanizing performances of Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, but also the fact that they spend much of this three-hour emotional epic enacting the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory. The result is certain to stir excitement and controversy on the fest circuit while limiting the film’s arthouse potential, barring significant trims for length and content.

Still, it’s a measure of the honesty and generosity of Kechiche’s storytelling that the picture’s explicit sexuality and extreme running time feel consistent with his raw, sensual embrace of all aspects of life, an approach also apparent in the writer-director’s masterful 2007 drama “The Secret of the Grain.” Indeed, it would be reductive to slap an exclusive gay-interest label on “Blue Is the Warmest Color,” a bildungsroman and first-love story whose deep and abiding fascination with life’s great shared pleasures — food, sex, art, literature, music, conversation — encourages the viewer to consider the commonality as well as the vast complexity of human experience.
Having previously examined the lives of artistically inclined youth in 2004′s “Games of Love and Chance,” Kechiche and co-writer Ghalya Lacroix (who also served as one of four editors) have narrowed their focus yet deepened their emotional palette with this very loose adaptation of Julie Maroh’s 2010 graphic novel, “Le Bleu est une couleur chaude.” Fittingly for a story about a girl’s sentimental education, the film’s French title, “La Vie d’Adele: Chapitres 1 et 2,” is a nod to Pierre de Marivaux’s unfinished 18th-century novel “La Vie de Marianne” — an assigned text at the Lille high school where we first meet Adele (Exarchopoulos), a sensitive, unassuming 15-year-old with a passion for literature.

As the film soon makes clear, following a brief romance with cute classmate Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte), Adele also harbors feelings for women — specifically, for a university fine-arts student named Emma (Seydoux), a pale beauty whose short blonde hair is streaked an alluring, rebellious blue. After an encounter at a lesbian bar followed by a series of meetings, during which the older, worldlier Emma gently puts the nervous, inexperienced Adele at ease, the two eventually become lovers.

All this unfolds in Kechiche’s signature style of long, flowing conversations marked by overlapping dialogue, performed in a vein of seemingly artless naturalism, but sculpted with unerring precision and a strong sense of drive. Captured in dynamic widescreen closeups by d.p. Sofian El Fani, these sequences crackle with humor and tension that can build, without warning, to moments of piercing emotion, as when Adele is cruelly humiliated by her friends upon discovery of her same-sex inclinations. More encouragingly, Adele is invited over to dine with Emma’s warm, freely accepting mother and stepfather, who are perhaps too tidily contrasted with Adele’s stiffer, more conservative parents, who are blithely unaware of the nature of the girls’ relationship.

The audience, by contrast, is spared nothing. Given the film’s interest in the rhythms and nuances of human communication, the explicitness and duration of the sex scenes here should come as little surprise. Still, it’s scorching, NC-17-level stuff, if it gets rated at all; the individual scenes are sustained for minutes at a time and lensed from a multitude of angles, with enough wide shots to erase any suspicion of body doubles. Trying out almost every position imaginable and blurring the line between simulated and unsimulated acts, Exarchopoulos and Seydoux are utterly fearless, conveying an almost feral hunger as their characters make love with increasing abandon. Audience titillation, though certainly there for the taking, couldn’t be more beside the point; each coupling signifies a deeper level of intimacy, laying an emotional foundation that pays off to shattering effect in the film’s third hour.

While these experiences supply moments of powerful realization for Adele, “Blue Is the Warmest Color” is not, strictly speaking, a coming-out narrative; both women pointedly refuse to label themselves, and their experiences over the course of the film convey a clear understanding of the complexity of human sexuality. As the narrative jumps ahead almost imperceptibly a few years — observing as Adele becomes a schoolteacher and settles into a comfortable live-in relationship with Emma, now a burgeoning artist — the thematic emphasis shifts from Adele’s social anxiety and fear of being found out to the trickier matter of finding contentment within commitment.

It’s a simple, even predictable story, yet textured so exquisitely and acted so forcefully as to feel almost revelatory. Always persuasive as a dreamy object of desire, Seydoux nonetheless surprises with the depth of her control; she has moments of stunning ferocity here, revealing Emma as a generous, open person whose hard, judgmental streak is inextricable from her artistic temperament. But the picture belongs to Exarchopoulos, completely inhabiting a role aptly named after the thesp herself; with her husky voice and sweet, reluctant smile, she plays virtually every emotion a director can demand of an actress, commanding the viewer’s attention and sympathy at every minute. Taxing as the 175-minute running time will be for some audiences, those on the picture’s wavelength will find it continually absorbing.

Set in an vibrantly decorated, unmistakably French hipster milieu populated by aspiring painters, writers and actors, the picture feels at once contemporary and happily reminiscent of a time before technology and social media invaded the artistic sphere; computers and cell phones are almost nowhere in sight. As in “The Secret of the Grain,” the camera betrays an almost compulsive fixation with the act of eating, taking on particularly suggestive undertones when Emma teaches Adele how to consume an oyster.


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