Blue Is the Warmest Colour (aka La vie d'Adèle - Chapitres 1 et 2) review by George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Having won the Palme D’Or at Cannes this year I had to see Blue is the Warmest Colour, even considering the controversy it had caused over its explicit sex scenes. Although it wasn’t at all what I was expecting, I’m pleased to say that Abdellatif Kechiche’s film is terrific as it gets to the core of a doomed relationship in a real and different way.
The film follows the life of Adele, a schoolgirl who finds herself attracted to a mysterious blue haired student named Emma. As Adele pursuits Emma she must also contend with her closeted nature as well as the prejudices that she can expect from people. However the two’s relationship proves just like any other and it may be a more ordinary problem that sees to their inevitable end.
Although a unique picture the film has trouble connecting on an emotional level, it lacks the kind of character moments that are expected of a relationship drama. Where a conventional film would build Adele and Emma’s relationship to a peak before watching it crumble, Kechiche chooses to mix the good with the bad. The films many explicit sex scenes also remove you from the experience as regular emotional beats are replaced with overly indulgent intercourse that lingers too long and never really feels necessary. In fact the film has almost 30 minutes of sex scenes, most of which prove emotionally stunted.
The film finds its footing on the back of lead actress Adèle Exarchopoulos who makes Adele an endlessly watchable person, both good and bad, vapid and intelligent. She gives a powerhouse performance that meshes brilliantly with Lea Seydoux’s Emma.
Ultimately a film about the way relationships share the same characteristics, even with different types of partners. The film gets great joy out of building this relationship in an honest and real way. Filled with clever dialogue, relatable characters and some gut wrenching final scenes, Blue is the Warmest Colour is a breath of fresh air.