These “transfer” reviews are from when I only did reviews on my Facebook page back in 2015. Bare in mind when reading these, I didn’t have the same formula in my review writing that I do now, and my usual “who starred and who directed” information is completely absent, so everything “italicized” is new. With that said, enjoy this review from 2015.
I have been waiting to see this movie since it was released in theaters. I think I had financial issues and that’s why I didn’t go for it. To make things even more sad, this movie has been sitting in my Netflix queue for AWHILE. Took me such a long time to get around to it because it’s a 3 hour movie. That and that it’s about a teenage girl who develops a lesbian relationship and that it has pretty graphic lesbian sex scenes (so… why exactly didn’t I rush out to see this movie again?). Finally, after so much hyping myself over it, I sat down and one night and watched it.
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche, Ghalia Lacroix
Cinematographer: Sofian El Fani
Editors: Sophie Brunet, Ghalia Lacroix, Albertine Lastera, Jean-Marie Lengelle, and Camille Toubkis
This is my honest opinion of: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR / LA VIE D’ADÈLE
The story follows French teenage Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), but the first half of the story follows her as a teenager. She’s a pretty girl in high school, just going to class, hanging out with friends, and talking about boys. Well… at least her friends are and she just goes with it. Even hooking up with another guy, great as he is, she’s just not as into him as he is to her. Turns out, she is having sexual thoughts about this beautiful blue-haired girl, later revealed to be Emma (Léa Seydoux), implying that she might be homosexual.
Fun Fact: this movie is based on a French graphic novel. Mind… blown.
This film is absolutely fantastic and I continue to kick myself for how long I’ve put it off.
Before we get into the review, YES!!! THERE’S HOT LESBIAN SEX SCENES THAT SHAME PORN!!! You fuckin’ God-less American pigs… High five! Fine, I’m a God-less American heterosexual male and the very graphic lesbian sex scenes are, on an aesthetic level, awesome.
BUT NO!!! I’m a free-thinking, independent (BULLSHIT) individual capable of rational thought (shut the fuck up, don’t call me out on this), and by gum I’m going to critique this movie like a civilized man!
Alright, joking over, but those scenes should be addressed. Despite their graphic nature, the movie does a great job of connecting the audience to the character of Adèle. She’s a teenage girl who is unsure of her sexuality and struggles with it. You certainly get a sense that her peers expect her to be heterosexual, but as soon as her sexual preferences become clear, each and every friend she has becomes either judgmental or even hostile. Exarchopoulos’ performance is spectacular. Her vulnerability is incredibly moving and empathic. You hate her friends for their inability to either leave Adèle alone or understand. A pathetically few amount of her friends are supportive, so it’s no wonder that Adèle leaps out and attacks one. And Exarchopoulos maintains her incredibly honest performance of Adèle throughout the film.
Emma is just as strongly written. She’s the perfect confident counterbalance to Adèle’s lack of assurance. She’s determined, shameless, but always humble when no one’s around to challenge her. Although she has a long outburst toward the end of the movie that seems needlessly cruel and cold-hearted. Kudos to Seydoux for making the scene intense, though. All around, the performances were spectacular.
Of course, with a story like this, there could be an argument that heterosexual teenagers are cruel toward the homosexual community as there are no heterosexual characters that leap to Adèle’s defense, but plenty of heterosexual characters that shame and berate her. An alternate argument could be made that the only time lesbians are happy are when they’re in relationships and having sex. There just isn’t enough time dedicated to Adèle’s personal life to show WHAT ELSE makes her happy, besides Emma and her teaching job in the second half of the movie. I guess she likes to read, but again, she’s just not shown a lot of that. My point with all this is that is if Adèle isn’t fawning over Emma, she’s just being depressed. For the first half of the movie, that worked because she’s being ostracized by her friends, but even then she seems more sure of her actions and doesn’t get to her too much. But the second half, I’m pretty sure she spent more than half that time crying. Adèle kind of became annoying. Obviously, not without reason, but I guess it’s so frustrating to see that she’s at least not trying to move on in some way other than working. Now while this is a personal story, specifically about Adèle, and this is just a more dramatic thing that she’s going through, but if a group starts coming out accusing the movie of portraying lesbians as whiny and depressed individuals, I’m not going to be surprised.
But for what it’s worth, I think the film is very honest, edgy, engaging, a little too sad maybe, but otherwise a very easy and delightful watch despite its three hour run-time.
My honest rating for BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR / LA VIE D’ADÈLE: a strong 4/5