Humans are flawed creatures. I will admit mine fight up front is long movies. Normally, I cannot tolerate them. Anything over two hours makes me walk away. All this to explain the reason why up until this point I have not seen the film Blue is the Warmest Color. It is not something I am proud of. Especially after having seen Abdellatif Kechiche’s (Couscous, Black Venus) engaging film.
A coming-of-age tale about a teenage girl transitioning into the woman she is about to become. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? And yet it is. All that many other films have attempted to do and failed to portray about the period of time just before adulthood is resplendent here. It gives you a window into what a young woman feels, thinks and goes through during her late teens on her path to becoming a full fledged woman.
Being a junior in high school, Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos – Orpheline, The White Crow) is part of the cool kid group at school. Like a typical 15-year-old girl she begins to date boys. But they don’t seem to be what she wants or needs.
After twice crossing paths with a mysterious older girl with blue hair, what Adele does need becomes clearer to her. Despite their life differences, Adele and Emma (Lea Seydoux – Spectre, The Lobster) become inseperable. They are so passionate and head over heels that Adele does not even mind that her friends, who are not comfortable with who she is dating, have turned their backs on her.
Adele becomes more herself than she has ever been. Emma, a free spirit, encourages her and opens up her eyes and mind to a whole other world. They exist within a cocoon of passion and togetherness.
As the years pass Adele and Emma morph into a more mature one. They move in together. Adele begins working as a teacher with preschoolers while Emma paints. As often happens in life the path to love and intimacy is an up and down one for the couple. As such, Adele makes a decision which changes her relationship with the woman she loves.
Love and life will be on your mind for days after watching the film. All that those two huge subjects mean will be rattling around your brain. Making you think about the two characters’ life choices and your own. Deeply affecting stuff.
Sex is all over this film. Explicit sex. Done in a very realistic way. Rather than just being titillating, it allows you to be subsumed into the skin of the two women. That is the level of honesty attained here. Doesn’t happen very often, so relish it.
Love and life are complicated as Adele finds out. Beautiful. Painful. Messy. Complex. All the things that keep us coming back for more. All depicted in its varying shades of blue here.
-Trailer and TV Spot
-Interviews with L a Seydoux, Ad le Exarchopoulos and Abdellatif Kechiche.
-A Booklet Featuring an Essay by Critic B. Ruby Rich