Blue Is The Warmest Color - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Blue Is The Warmest Color Reviews

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October 14, 2017
Remember The Deerhunter? Well, this is nothing like The Deerhunter. But it does remind me of one of those good old seventies films that gently unfolds rather than is overtly directed - how they were before films went all corporate. It's a snapshot of the life of Adéle, during that fertive period of graduating and starting a career; gradually discovering who she is and what her place in the world, her supple young mind getting to grips with ideas of art, literature,philosophy and, indeed, politics - and there are some inspirational gems presented here in a charmingly understated fashion, that makes the easy, natural conversation the film contains quite fascinating. Midst it all she is discovering who her real friends are, what her own values and how to cut free and follow them, and her own sexuality. She learns one of life's hardest lessons - she gets her heart broke.

Now, she didn't become the youngest person ever to win the Cannes Film Festival 'Palme d'Or' award (and 37 other nominations) purely for her willingness to bare everything - and I do mean EVERYTHING!- but the break up scene with her lesbian lover is gut-wrenching, raw, intense stuff. You feel her pain. An incredible performance, it's like it's happening for real right before your eyes, a lightning bolt caught on camera.

Three hours is normally a tad long for me, and if they had cut the sex scenes it would have been a more normal length film - that's how much bare-ass, steamy, getting it on there is in this film! It's French after all. But it all does set the scene for just how deeply Adèle falls for this, her first, love. That's my excuse anyway. She's also fit as. Just sayin.

No CGI, no intricate plot, no panoramic camera work, but a story that feels real and a performance of unbridled raw emotion. Can't recommend this film enough.
October 10, 2017
This is an amazingly intimate film, and I'm not referring (well, not only referring) to the very explicit sex scenes. This film is 3 hours long, and easily 85% of it is close-ups of the characters's faces. Everything that happens in the film is reflected in their faces, particularly in the face Adèle Exarchopoulos, who could not have been better. It's an extremely intimate look at the birth and death of her relationship with Léa Seydoux, and it's one of the most affecting films I have ever seen.
October 6, 2017
Affecting, confronting, engrossing, but never boring despite its marathon duration. I'd heard the sex scenes were somewhat excessive and 'male gazey', and I kind of agree. Still, for their part, Exarchopoulos and Seydoux make it all seem completely real, as they do with every other aspect of their performances. Both are phenomenal. Exarchopoulos convinces equally as the shy teenager, the mature woman she grows into, and every stage in between.
September 27, 2017
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the production of this film - and the root of it all is present in the film itself.

Lea Seydoux, one of the leads, said she felt "like a prostitute" during filming. "The director has all the power. When you're an actor on a film in France and you sign the contract, you have to give yourself, and in a way you're trapped." Seydoux did not attend the New York premiere.

The explicit scenes left the break-out star of the film, Adèle Exarchopoulos, feeling "embarrassed" and "ashamed".

Julie Maroh, author of the book Blue Angel,which the film was based on, called the 10-minute sex scene "a brutal and surgical display, exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and me feeling very ill at ease". Her possible explanation? "It appears to me this was what was missing on the set: lesbians."

Director Abdellatif Kechiche hit back by threatening not to the release the film and perhaps even sue Seydoux for her comments. Very classy, indeed.

With this in mind I attended the first South African screening of the film, which formed part of the Out in Africa Film Festival and I was left, conflicted. Even though there are absolutely brilliant aspects to the 3-hour epic, there is a creepiness to it that I am struggling to pin down.

The brilliant bits
Kechiche manages to subtly capture the essence of a scene. Whether it is a party, Pride, an intimate conversation or a violent argument, he just gets it right.

He has perfected filming extra-long, meandering dialogue-heavy scenes, scenes that would normally have been totally boring, in a way which is absolutely engrossing. Intimate, almost mundane conversations have you spellbound. It is a combination of the brilliant script, the close-up shots, the casting choices, and apparently sometimes 100 takes for a single scene.

Filming a crowd without making it look like a set with actors, is difficult. Not for Kechiche. He captures the energy, the passion, yet makes it feel intimate, as if you are there. The same goes for the back-and-forth dinner party banter. It flows, it is natural. It doesn't feel like a scene in a film, but like the dinner party you attended a few nights back.

He captures both the innocence and the malice of high school children, the intensity of young love, how difficult coming of age can be, and the problems of a class system.

The bad
Sometimes the "rawness" of the film was too much to bear. Cinemagoers were initially grossed out by, and then laughing at, the amount of mucus dripping from Exarchopoulos's nose throughout the various crying scenes. So much so that no one could concentrate on what was actually being said, or portrayed. It has popped up in many other reviews. How well does that serve your film?

Even though Adèle Exarchopoulos is an incredible acting talent and a delight to watch on screen, after two hours, which felt like 13 hours, I had had enough of her close up, the shots of her sleeping and her derriere in the camera (during walking, sleeping, sex, etc). I just wanted her to stop crying, get over herself and move on with her life, and even perhaps off screen.

The creepiness
In writing this review, I was faced with two options: I could say nothing about the sexual content and be inauthentic. Or I could voice my concern and either be labelled a prude or a whining lesbian. I'm going to go right ahead and state my case. Remember, I don't speak for all the lesbians on this planet.

I found the sex scenes ridiculous, very clinical and devoid of any real connection between the two leads. In fact, it spoiled the film for me. It was not sensual, not representative of the clumsiness of young love or the emotional intensity between two women. I agree with Maroh that it felt like a porn movie. You just needed some cheesy 70s music.

I also found the extent of the sex scenes gratuitous and shot from a leering, creepy point of view, which must obviously, then, be Kechiche's point of view, as he is in complete control. Exarchopoulos had barely turned 18 when they shot the film. So yes, she was of age, and she consented to it, blah, blah, blah, yet I cannot help but feel that close-up shots of her labia were exploitative and unnecessary.

There, I've said it.

Conclusion
The gratuitous, voyeuristic sexual content unfortunately overshadows the brilliance of the film.
September 19, 2017
Achingly romantic and so well acted as to actually accurately portray the all-consuming, exquisitely agonising nature of love, which, despite the plethora of romantic movies out there, is actually a very rare thing. Two more accurate, naturalistic, skilful and committed performances than those of the two extraordinary leads, you will not find. In the end, this film is a rather beautiful thing.
August 23, 2017
Alluring and captivating!
August 4, 2017
Raw yet subtle. This film is not suitable for the faint-hearted at all. It's far too different from other LGBT-themed movies you usually see nowadays, so I suggest viewing it with an open mind. Above everything, the movie is fine.
½ August 1, 2017
Absolutely deserving of all the praise and accolades it received upon its release back in 2013, Blue Is The Warmest Colour is one of the most intense and emotionally challenging romances every filmed. Much like The Spectacular Now, released a year later, it doesn't fill itself with platitudes or clobber you over the head with overbearing introspection, it just tells a love story. The characters meet, become attracted, face difficulties and discover things about love they would never have known before. The 2 leads are incredible. Newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos lights up the screen with her smile and dampens it with her tears, and Léa Seydoux exudes a level of confident energy that makes it easy to see what our heroine sees in her. It might run a bit long, and would benefit from having 20-30 minutes cut from it, but almost all of what's on screen is golden. It's one of the most passionate love stories ever told, and while the sex scenes might be considered excessive and exploitative, they're driven by sheer animalistic desire and both actresses give it their all. They do an effortless job of convincing us that their characters are deeply in love, and the journey they take keeps us engaged all the way. The truth is the characters are fairly simple, it's the emotions they experience which make it so interesting, and it's what drives the intrigue and conflict. Symbolism is ever-present, especially the appearance of the colour blue, and it's easy to see what themes or emotions they're helping to reinforce. It could be shorter, it could be more concise, but in story telling terms it's a beautiful picture, aesthetically and spiritually, and the love the women share will stay with you long after the credits have rolled.
July 31, 2017
I have massive reservations about this film but I also found things in it that I really loved. The negatives, that running time...over 3 hours, come on I struggle to find a film ever worthy of that. Also the sex scenes between the central pairing, I get that your trying to convey the intense passion and then reflect that later on in the story but at times when you're dealing with two young girls it does feel exploitative. Anyway the positives, the performances. Genuinely wow, especially Adèle Exarchopoulos who is absolutely brilliant, you genuinely believe her performance every step of the way. The story is great, it feels so real, so heartbreaking at times. So brilliant albeit flawed, I can deal with that, I'd watch more of Kechiche's work for definite.
½ July 27, 2017
The film as a whole was very well done. I enjoyed the whole movie up until the ending, it just didn't sit right with me. But even though the end was not my favourite, I still have recommended it to many people and would rewatch it
July 2, 2017
Everything about this film is so raw and lifelike that the three hour runtime flies by so quickly.
½ June 24, 2017
A masterful examination of relationship dynamics, if not a somewhat exploitative portrayal of sexuality.

This film's saving graces are the lead performances, which make the unbridled (arguably pornographic) sexuality easier to take. However, the drama is deeply compelling.
May 11, 2017
A very intimate (pun intended) and personal film. It doesn't rely on typical movie drama or events to drive itself forward, but instead has us see everything through its protagonist's eyes, and lets us feel how she feels and want what she wants. The performances are the most real I've seen, probably ever. And the lack of a musical score was a clever and ultimately beneficial choice. The sex scenes are very long and very plentiful, and I don't like the film any less because of them, but there came (pun intended x2) a point where I don't think anything was being gained from them, in terms of story or emotion. Seeing a lack of filter or censor added to the realism at first, but eventually it more or less felt like it was being naughty for the sake of being naughty. "Blue is the Warmest Color" is a film I really do want to watch again, and there's something uniquely special about it. I know there was quite a bit of drama behind-the-scenes, as it's been mentioned in almost every media report I've read about the film. And while I feel bad that this is the case, I do think a great movie came out of the relentless perfectionism the director is said to have had.
½ April 6, 2017
Full of self-discovery, "Blue is the Warmest Color" is a bold new entry in the coming-of-age genre.
½ April 2, 2017
Both a stunningly realistic coming-of-age film and an intimate love story, Blue Is The Warmest Color takes all the time it needs to let its two outstanding lead-actresses unfold in a sincerely and attentively narrated journey of self-discovery that anyone who is willing to really sink into a movie can learn something from.
March 23, 2017
One of the best works of 2013 is this striking and brilliant masterpiece by Kechiche, who succeeds in portraying a subject that is not only controversial but also revealing, profoundly graphic, full of energy and approaches the different nuances of love in a sumptuous, highly emotional and empathically way, being a tale that touches our hearts and our deepest notions of truth, tolerance and compassion. The film arrives perfectly like a real and intense story of two women who sensationally adapt a novel that explores in a hard, dramatic and wise way the virtuous and changing components of people's sexuality and identity. 98/100
March 13, 2017
This universal romantic drama is a beautiful representation of love, self-discovery and growth that is not just 'another lesbian movie' but a relatable tale for everyone, regardless of sexual orientation. The use of close-ups and of color, together with two stunning lead performances help create one of the most authentic, emotionally raw and resonating love story I've ever seen. On the downside, the three hour runtime hinders the movie, and some scenes and dialogue feel quite forced. I also felt that the pace was uneven and in some parts the movie slowed down too much. The much-talked sex scenes are extremely explicit, but they are functional to the story and director succeds in giving us the idea of Adele's excitement, even though at least the six minute one could have been shortened a bit. It Could have been a masterpiece, it is 'only' a really good and well-crafted film.
March 13, 2017
The first hour is engaging, but it loses a lot of momentum in the midst of those ridiculous sex scenes that it never quite gains back.
March 12, 2017
A contemporary "Emperor's New Clothes", a pathetic propaganda scam, and a farce created by buffoons who know no better way to achieve their 5-minute stardom than to over-embellish a sub-par girl-on-girl porn with fake outcry for homosexual equality and cheesy love story.

I know I'm in the minority here, but I seriously don't get how people resonate with this film. The story of a coming-of-age teenager finding and failing her first love (because of the difference in the social rank, life experience, artistic taste, or whatever weak reason the movie comes up with) is all but too old as a piece of stale cheese. Were it not for the lesbian twist, the story by itself stands no higher than any typical romantic ANIME that Japanese cranks out dozens of times every year. I would even consider You've Got Mails, Serendipity, and many other Hollywood style love dramas, blockbuster or not, way more entertaining.

The movie could've spent more time on developing the emotional and social struggle the main character goes through with her love journey, and in the process makes her character more relatable to common viewers. Yet the director or the scriptwriter or whoever has their libido unchecked decided to waste the precious time in a film in unnecessary nudity to almost porn-like details.

I get why nudity is important to some love stories, because it's the rawest, most basic yet most powerful expression of love and desire human beings can convey, but an artistic depiction of sex scenes have to serve a purpose integral to the story, not just some eye-candy, or worse, marketing tools, to boost the movie sales by appealing to the audience's crotch. Yet I fail to see any necessity of the nude scenes in this film, except that it makes the motive of the main character more erotic than emotional, another fatal blow to an already weak story.

Please stop giving this movie high commendation because of your desire to be politically correct. Tagging a movie with sensitive or controversial social elements doesn't guarantee it to be a masterpiece. Quite the opposite, it often conveys the laziness of the movie-makers and lack of creativity. A true proponent of homosexual romance should voice their support through genuine stories of the complicated struggles gays and lesbians face in their life, not riding on the hype of homosexuality in the superficial hope of winning a golden statue. Otherwise, you are not supporting homosexuality, you are simply abusing it for personal gain.
February 14, 2017
This is everything you wish for in a love story: impeccably performed, visually amazing expression of love with close up facial shots, sex and passion . 5 stars
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