Blue Is the Warmest Color Image
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88

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 199 Ratings

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  • Summary: Blue is the Warmest Color centers on a 15-year-old girl named Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) who is climbing to adulthood and dreams of experiencing her first love. A handsome male classmate falls for her, but an unsettling erotic reverie upsets the romance before it begins. Adèle imagines that the mysterious, blue-haired girl she encountered in the street slips into her bed and possesses her with an overwhelming pleasure. That blue-haired girl is a confident older art student named Emma (Léa Seydoux), who will soon enter Adèle's life for real, leading to an intense and complicated love story that spans a decade and is touchingly universal in its depiction. [IFC Films] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 39 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Jordan Mintzer
    May 27, 2013
    100
    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.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Oct 25, 2013
    100
    It’s a simple, even predictable story, yet textured so exquisitely and acted so forcefully as to feel almost revelatory.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Nov 18, 2013
    100
    Anchored by two of the most natural, committed performances you’ll ever see, Blue Is The Warmest Colour is the most moving love story of the year.
  4. 90
    The movie goes on for three hours without an emotional letup — it’s finally overwhelming.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Oct 24, 2013
    88
    Blue Is the Warmest Color sweeps you up on waves of humor, heartbreak and ravishing romance.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    May 27, 2013
    80
    It's a long movie, and by the end you may well feel every bit as wrung out as the characters. But it is genuinely passionate film-making.
  7. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 7, 2013
    50
    Kechiche's doting on entwined limbs, thrusting pelvises and oral stimulation, all carefully posed and continued longer than necessary to get his point across, races beyond titillation to creepy voyeurism.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
  1. Nov 5, 2013
    10
    BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR left me so astounded that I had to walk aimlessly for an hour to get over its gut wrenching examination of our ability to love and lose so profoundly. After nearly 2 hours and 20 minutes the film builds to a series of scenes that make you feel like your heart has been scraped by a knife, leaving only a battered shell of veins intact. Forget all the talk of explicit and long sex scenes, these just small bits of BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, a very modern story of love and its power over all of us. Is it really possible to feel so profoundly? And can we possibly move on? Expand
  2. Aug 9, 2014
    10
    La vida real, esto es lo que de verdad pasa con el amor, todo lo que no se espera de una cinta que sorprende, los 179 minutos mas encantadores de mi vida, La mejor película de la década, sin duda! Expand
  3. Jul 6, 2014
    10
    Probably the truest and most raw romantic drama I've ever seen. Adele Exarchopoulos gave a performance with more realistic emotions and reactions than one coming from an actual reality show. This film displays so accurately the human relationships between one another emotionally and sexually, how quickly they can be broken and how easily they can be repaired.
    I can believe the historical choice of giving the prestigious Cannes Palme d'Or award not only to the director, but to the two lead actresses due to their basically flawless performances. Honestly, this film really made me think on a greater scale about love, loss, and me as a partner in relationships.
    Expand
  4. Jan 22, 2014
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Una storia d’amore. Che nasce per uno sguardo casuale in una piazza affollata, esplode di inarrestabile passione, poi inizia a raffreddarsi tra routine e piccoli malintesi, infine si conclude con amarezza a causa di nuove attrazioni anche se il legame fatica a spezzarsi. Adele è una liceale di Lilla che vive le incertezze proprie della sua età, tra una famiglia che non ne intuisce il difficile momento e una scuola di periferia animata però da insegnanti appassionati che ne alimentano l’amore per la letteratura. La sua omosessualità si disvela incrociando Emma, più vecchia di lei di qualche anno, proprio mentre sta andando all’appuntamento con un ragazzo: quando la ritrova in un bar per lesbiche dove è finita un po’ per caso e un po’ no,. ci vuole poco perché il rapporto diventi intensamente fisico e, per lungo tempo, si trasformi in una simbiosi allo stesso tempo totalizzante e liberatoria. Quando però Adele cresce e corona il suo sogno di insegnare all’asilo – inizia qui la seconda parte del film - si presentano nuove opportunità che finiranno per allontanare le due ragazze: i capelli di Emma - non più studentessa d’arte, ma pittrice - non sono più blu come nella prima parte e sono il simbolo della normalizzazione. Malgrado una scenataccia di gelosia che soffoca nella culla il rapporto dell’amante con un collega, è proprio Emma a rifarsi presto una vita con una nuova compagna, mentre Adele – più fragile – resta a fare i conti con il vuoto nella sua vita e una brace che non si vuole spegnere. L’idea che ci vogliano tre ore per raccontare una storia all’apparenza banale potrebbe spaventare, eppure – a parte una scena di sesso da circa otto minuti francamente pletorica (però, nel caso scappasse la pipì…) - il franco tunisino Kechiche gira un film in cui non si avverte il passare del tempo grazie a una capacità di raccontare con levità che rende estremamente scorrevole il passare dei minuti. Il tran-tran della vita quotidiana – la scuola, la famiglia, il lavoro – è reso interessante da un notevole cura per il particolare e, soprattutto, grazie a un’attenzione assidua per i volti e gli sguardi, con una speciale predilezione per quelli di Adèle Exarchopoulos, indagata da mille primi piani quando è sveglia e anche quando è addormentata con l’utilizzo di materiale girato fuori scena per accentuare l’autenticità. Il soggetto è tratto da un fumetto di Julie March, ma il regista e lo co-sceneggiatrice Ghalia Lacroix ne hanno eliminato qualsiasi effetto melodrammatico per raccontare una vicenda che dimostra che, se ogni amore è diverso a modo suo, tutti possono essere interessanti da raccontare (ma bisogna esserne capaci, ovviamente, come nelle delicatissime scene al parco quando il sentimento si dischiude) e non importa se il sesso dei due componenti la coppia sia uguale o diverso. Curiosamente, la questione che ha smosso la chiacchiera attorno al film viene ben presto accantonata durante la visione perché l’attenzione è attratta da aspetti più intriganti, dimostrando che spesso lo scandalo è nella mente di chi guarda: Kechiche sta dalla parte dei suoi personaggi e si limita a mostrare le reazioni delle persone attorno alle due ragazze limitandosi a indicare i due estremi del rifiuto un po’ ipocrita da parte delle compagne di scuola e della serena accettazione nella famiglia di Emma. Ne esce un film che unisce qualità narrativa e grande densità emotiva sprigionando un fascino sottile che si infila sottopelle e cresce con il passare del tempo dopo che i titoli di coda sono finiti: non è perfetto – c’è qualche lungaggine, le scene di sesso sono troppe e allentano la tensione, il rapporto di Adele con i genitori è inconsistente, il salto all’età adulta troppo brusco – ma si tratta di difetti ben lontani dall’inficiare la qualità complessiva che è stata con merito premiata a Cannes. Così come è giusto che sia stata riconosciuta la bravura delle due attrici che sono sempre al centro della scena – il resto del cast fa tappezzeria – protagoniste di un impegnativo tour de force da cui escono come meglio non si potrebbe disegnando due figure molto concrete, magari non particolarmente simpatiche ma estremamente reali (‘niente trucco sul set!’ pare abbia ordinato il burbero regista e la povera Léa Seydoux è stata costretta a studiare Brando e Dean per tirar fuori la propria parte maschile). Expand
  5. Sep 20, 2014
    8
    Seventeen year old Adele’s life is changed when she meets Emma, a sapphire haired university student, and her path changes from adrift high school student to a woman discovering herself and sexuality in Blue is the Warmest Color.

    Beautiful and honest, Blue is the Warmest Color is a realistic love story. I find it quite hard to say what it is about without it sounding banal. Adele is a confused girl, unfulfilled in her life, trying to figure out what she desires. Then, girl meets girl, girl likes girl, girl falls for girl, and girl’s relationship with girl follows its destined course. In the meantime, girl comes to grips with her desire, sexuality and identity. But it is poignant, sweet, sad, unflinching,

    The more naive and inexperienced of the two is Adele, played by Adele Exarchopoulos. She does a wonderful job of being both unsure and youthfully headstrong. I enjoyed her character being so blase about pretenses and frivolity in the superficial. She is hilarious to watch eat food, Adele ravenously devours meals as if her appetite for sustenance is insatiable. Emma, played by Lea Seydoux, is the slightly older college student who Adele befriends, at first as a confidante and mild mentor, but soon that friendship evolves. Emma is free-spirited and confident without being pretentious or judgmental and Seydoux’s character warrants Adele’s infatuation.

    The film is raw, the sex scenes enthralling without being gratuitous and what you get essentially from Blue is the Warmest Color is a coming of age lesbian love story.

    More reviews of recent releases can be found at our website.
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  6. Jan 26, 2014
    6
    Good story, good acting, but not really well-structured, in my opinion. A bit overlong (and I usually like films to be over 2 and a half hours) and the craving for "realistic-ness" just too pushed, which resulted in the film not being really realistic after all. This results in a compelling but slightly average watch.

    I just want to point out that the explicit scenes didn't bother me at all, in fact, the first two or three were almost necessary. Besides, they seem to be a common feature in French film. The one thing that bothered me, though, was the pseudo-intellectual dialogues between the characters, as if the screenwriter wanted us, the viewers, to learn something about philosophy too - a bit offensive and, again, pushed.
    Expand
  7. Feb 8, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The problem with "Blue is the Warmest Color" is not pornography, it's Dogma...or at least it's legacy.

    For those who don't remember, Dogma - or Dogmé '95, if you prefer - was that style of filmmaking championed by Lars von Trier and some other Danes that made the co-opting of direct cinema for the purposes of fiction filmmaking their "revolution." It's aesthetic was amateurism, poorly lit or completely unlit scenes, handheld camera work, only incidental music. It promised to restore honesty and vitality to movies, something these filmmakers felt was lacking in mainstream Hollywood cinema of the time. Twenty years ago this may have stood for something but the fact of the matter is that Dogma's aesthetic has been completely absorbed into our visual vocabulary. Whatever strength lied in the immediacy and spontaneity of its method has become a trope, a cliched code for "reality" and "honesty" and it's proliferation is increasingly just a cover for plain awful filmmaking. Director Abdellatif Kechiche's film, "Blue is the Warmest Color," is a great example of how (since this style and its variations are so ubiquitous a distinction must be made between the aesthetic of Dogma influenced dramas and the commonly employed style of the "mockumentary" used to great effect in comedies that is basically a combination of direct cinema and cinema verite but not the subject of this critique).

    Where to begin with the ineptness of this film? There's almost too much to talk about. Lets just look at one of the worst scenes: Adele and Emma's first encounter.
    So much has been made of the staginess of the sex scenes in this movie that no one has said anything about or even noticed the staginess of almost everything else in the movie? Nearly every beat in this film feels false and sloppily conceived. It's ironic that the very technique which is supposed to give a greater sense of reality to the picture actually exposes its fraud. Adele first sees Emma in the middle of a cross walk. Adele crosses the street one day soon after her first kiss with another girl and spots Emma, an apparently out lesbian who looks her over. Adele stops in the middle of the cross walk to blankly stare at Emma as she passes her by. Keep in mind this is a very busy crosswalk on a bustling street. Miraculously, Emma, walking with her arm around another girl gives Adele a good looking over as well in the middle of the crowded intersection. This is their first encounter. Now who stops in the middle of a busy intersection to stare at someone walking passed them? Well, possibly someone possessed by some great life forsaking impulse. And then what fortune that the person you just looked at returns your stare with her own head cocking once-over as well! Ironically, this scene is both overplayed and underplayed at the same time. Stopping dead in the middle of an intersection is the kind of big deal moment that we would expect from an brash over-the-top Hollywood movie. But this movie trades in the subtleties, the information gained by noticing the incremental changes on a person's face or in their behavior so instead of say, a set of dangerous or hilarious consequences befalling Adele as she stands there, nothing really happens at all. She just stands there staring autistically for a very, very long beat. Now I understand that she's apt to stare autistically, the movie makes a big point of it, but standing in the middle of traffic to do so is a dangerous faux pas. If we're to believe she's suddenly found herself doing such a unusually thing on account of something so remarkable as Emma's beauty this is probably the opportunity to make a point of it. But the movie just simply doesn't seem to think much of it. The scene is handled so clumsily, so awkwardly straightforward and absent of any kind of directorial insight or angle that the whole scene comes off comically unrealistic. It completely lacks any sense of Adele's emotional intuition even though we can clearly see whats going on. This is the subtle power of a director: to use a remarkable and unlikely event to show us something about a character's inner world, their desires, their realizations or their emotional progress. If it works you might accept the absurdity of the situation that brought the insight forth ; it's a kind of slight if hand, the kind this director and Dogma would surely disdain.

    So what's the point of the intersection if you're not gonna do anything with it? The problem here is more than aesthetic. It's the first time the director really fails to let us into Adele's world, to help us feel what she's feeling. We merely cognate that Adele is attracted to Emma, we never feel that she is. And even then we only cognate that because we have presumed what her desires might be after being spurned by the girl she kissed earlier in the film. If it weren't for that scene we would really have no idea why Adele is staring at this girl. The Hollywood filmmaking techniques that dogma eschews can convince us all kinds of fantastic fabrications from outer space monsters to zombie time traveling monkeys. But these filmmakers struggle to make even the simplest concept ring true.

    It also doesn't help that they are also some of the most egregious violators of writing's essential concepts like the rule of "show me don't tell me." These movies are so hampered by their rejection of normal story telling technique (and creativity) that they have to spend the entire time telling us what's going on. It's ironic that a filmmaking style so confident in its ability to convey the immediacy of a character's world and experience must relentlessly fall back on the dialogue to tell us what the characters are thinking, feeling, planning and doing. And in this movie, over and over again, the actors spew the same lines with the same meanings making the same points, ad naseam. Kechiche has clearly found no other way to tell us that Adele is really obsessed with Emma other than to have her repeat that sentiment endlessly. Film is a visual medium. Great films communicate visually, not with talking. But Dogma disenfranchises filmmaking of its greatest strength - the image. In its place it has attempted to revive the muscle of the writer, subtly implying that the image in its decadence has betrayed cinema's higher purpose. But writing for the screen is precisely the art of writing so that things are visually comprehensible. Every "hack" writer in Hollywood can do this but Dogma in it's mission to restore cinematic purity fails to deliver us any new useful idea. And naturally, in the absence of any good writing, the enfeebled, hackneyed image they're left with fails to deliver as well. Giant close ups of noses, eyes and mouths don't fill in the gaps of bad writing. The documentary style they employ, so often fixed on the deep close up keeps us permanently on the outside of the actor. Instead of getting closer to a character we're stuck on their face, never allowed into their interiority. There's just no lens long enough, no close up big enough to get inside a character's world. The lenses of these filmmakers desperately search the faces of their actors looking for some look, some glance, anything that could get us in there. But, alas, nothing. The shots in "Blue" run on and on pressing the limits of acting - and our patience -but there's only so much an actor can do. And these actors took it as close to the limit as we could ask but it still wasn't enough. If only the camera could burrow into the actor's faces.

    Now, don't get me wrong I understand the arguments about this Dogma style defying the traditional Hollywood narrative filmmaking that compromises the truth and integrity of a character and their moment in favor of a set of suspect narrative imperatives probably meant to accomplish the normalization of traditional values and conservative ideologies. I even agree with this conceit! And I also get that with a less lavish production (or in their case, no production at all) a more disengaged (read: objective) view point should empower the audience to seek information from the actors themselves rather than getting that information shoveled to you. These are nice ideas but this solution simply does not work. The aesthetic and the meaning of this movie have no commonality. They don't work together. Here's the problem: the aesthetic is essentially a lie and the meaning of the movie remains elusive because the aesthetic actively impedes its delivery. Dogma movies and their kin have merely created a different style of **** shoveling. Only theirs is in the guise of the audience's free reflection. But we all know that these filmmakers are including and excluding as much of a story or character as any mainstream film, just as committed to the delivery of a narrative, which restricts and expands reality as much as any other style. Its just that these artists seek the imprimatur of a documented reality rather than the common fiction of popular movies (insomuch as direct cinema documentaries are guilty of the same kind of above described contrivance, the fact that they deal with actuality, not fiction deserves a forgiveness we shouldn't extend to Dogma).

    "Blue is the Warmest Color's" aesthetic can basically be described as botched voyeurism. We're only allowed as much insight into the character's lives as a peeping tom could get but then once there all the things we see are at best un-informative and at worst badly blundered contrivances. At least if we're going to have the privileged view point of a spy we should see things so intimate or private they could open a character's world to us. But then again maybe that's just the fantasy of voyeurism and this movie is the reality: that spying on people probably tells us very little about other people or worse, that other people's lives are just as boring as our own. That being said I don't think any of ours lives are quite as incredible as the ones on screen in this film. Take the ridiculous break up scene where Adele simply walks out the front door after a blistering five minute fight with Emma and ends their relationship by politely closing the door behind her or the problem that we cannot tell that Adele is any more interested in Emma than anybody else she's with in the movie because nothing in her behavior or the filmmakers technique tells us either way. In fact, since we have so little idea what Adele is feeling in this movie we must simply deduce that the relationship with Emma is the important one because its the one we have to endure for three hours...
    God, I sure hope it was, I'd hate to have to watch a sequel.

    There are some good things in this picture...some of the acting is pretty good but the director unfortunately did nearly everything he could to get in the way of it. In that he succeeded mightily.

    Finally, don't get me started on the pornography. This was not pornography. I make pornography. Pornography is beautiful, startling, dangerous, powerful, boring, arousing, open ended, liberated and enslaved all at once. These people don't know the first thing about pornography. I wouldn't disparage it that way. Only the French could make a movie about sex so unsexy. Don't believe me? Try watching French porn sometime.
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See all 34 User Reviews

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