Blue Is the Warmest Color (18)

"La vie d'Adèle" (original title)
179 minutes
Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche
Starring Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche
Showing at FACT till 4th Dec 2013

Reviewed by Darren Guy

Blue Is The Warmest Colour is the story of Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos), an upper working class teenage French girl, coming of age in a French town (uncannily looking like a Yorkshire town). She is sensitive and passionate about literature, surrounded by friends who tease her about the interest boys show towards her, and in particular Tomas (Jérémie Laheurte). Adele goes along and ends up in a fumbled relationship with Thomas but soon realises it's not happening for her. It is then she notices Emma, (Léa Seydoux), A blue haired, middle class, fourth year fine arts student and outward lesbian. And there is the heart of the story. Adele begins to discover herself, Emma and her sexuality.

Blue Is The Warmest Colour is superb, with the script and the dialogue being brilliant. It is a passionate, sensitive, evocative and highly sexually charged film. There are an array of incredible raw and emotionally charged scenes, far too many to mention, which can make the hairs on the back neck stand up, but also can touch the viewer intensively with its array of touching close ups.

The film has been accused of being pornographic but I believe the erotic scenes are handled incredibly sincerely and sensitively and play a major part in showing just how loving and close the couple become, and how first love touches the very core of its main character, making me believe these two really are in love. The acting is incredible, particularly from Exarchopoulos and Seydoux, whose intelligent acting operates on a number of different layers, significantly when their different class backgrounds collide.

My only criticism is that the film is too long, I think a third could have been cut. One or two subplots are dragged out, when in reality they need not have been included because they added nothing to the film, notably the scenes when Adele is working in a nursery.

Go and see it whilst you can on the big screen. Its a shame it's an 18 certificate, but I understand why. Otherwise it would have been good for teenagers to watch such an honest film, one that captures what it's like to experience the confusion, the fears and the reality of coming of age in all its rawness.

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