Blue Is The Warmest Colour tells the story of Adèle, a 15-year-old schoolgirl (played by 20-year-old Adèle Exarchopoulos) living a normal life with her Mum and Dad, while also fancying Thomas (Jérémie Laheurte), a boy at her school.
After spotting blue-haired Emma (Léa Seydoux) while out and about, a bit of how’s-your-father with her man leaves her unsatisfied and she goes on to soon have lesbian awakenings after a girl in her class tells her that she’s the cutest girl in their grade. She goes to kiss her. Adele doesn’t pull away.
We see the shy, straight but bi-curious, Adele being attracted to the confident and outgoing Emma, something for which her school mates tease her.
There’s no surprises to it, outside of the 7-minute sex scene (which starts 75 minutes in, if you want to skip to it), which I’ve heard described as exploitative and I can well agree. It’s the most graphic scene I’ve seen in a film which could get an airing at your local Odeon, but you’ll see far stronger in any modern adult movie, and so to see something that attempts to replicate it in a medium like this, just comes across as out of place.
And so by “no surprises”, I mean that there’s hardly much of a plot to it. Two young girls eventually meet, they get it on, they meet the parents, and it’s a slice-of-life drama that starts, it drags on and then it ends.
Blue Is The Warmest Colour is Adèle Exarchopoulos’ film. As a relative newcomer, she is the youngest artist ever to receive the Palme d’Or, and she is clearly a natural in front of the camera (I mean at regular acting, not the grinding going on halfway through) so in a film which actually has a script, she has a bright future ahead of her.
And do art students really sit around discussing their sex lives at a painting exhibition-cum-dinner party? I somehow doubt it.
Don’t get me wrong. I do like a lot of films where ‘not a lot happens’ but this one feels never-ending without much in the way of direction and it feels like there’s a two-hour version trying to burst out of this behemoth…
And as for the reasoning behind the film’s title? You’ll see as the film goes on, but for those who want to see it, I won’t spoil it. It’s not a major thing, but something that’ll become obvious in the third act.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen ratio and in 1080p high definition and has no defects on the print, looking as stunning as the locations where they film, at its best particularly during the bright daytime scenes.
And that audio comes in DTS HD 5.1 option. It’s not a special FX film, obviously, but the dialogue and incidental music comes across crystal clear.
The extras on this disc are as follows
- Interviews: One with director Abdellatif Kechiche (9:03), who talks about how two separate ideas came together – if you’ll pardon the expression – to make this film; and one with lead actress Adèle Exarchopoulos (7:33), who speaks in English about how she came to make the film and follows from from what Kechiche said about how he doesn’t follow a shooting script and works partly on improvisation, so the actors have their own ‘space’.
- Deleted Scenes (7:03): In case three hours just wasn’t long enough, there’s more. A few extra seconds of rumpy pumpy, and a few minutes more of not a lot else.
- Theatrical Trailer (1:48): In the original theatrical ratio, and to the tune of I Follow Rivers by Lykke Li, which I don’t remember being played during the film itself, but this sometimes happens with films.
The menu features clips of the film set to its incidental music playing in the background. Subtitles are in English only and when it comes to the chaptering, I feel one should come every five minutes on average. A lot of distributors go for a low 12 however long the film. Artificial Eye’s chaptering tends to vary from disc to disc. Unfortunately, here, it’s just the same 12. For a three-hour film. How ridiculous.
Running time: 180 minutes
Released: March 17th 2014
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (HDCAM)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Producers: Brahim Chioua, Abdellatif Kechiche and Vincent Maraval
Screenplay: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia Lacroix (adapted from the comic book by Julie Maroh)
Emma: Léa Seydoux
Adèle: Adèle Exarchopoulos
Samir: Salim Kechiouche
Adèle’s father: Aurélien Recoing
Adèle’s mother: Catherine Salée
Antoine: Benjamin Siksou
Lise: Mona Walravens
Béatrice: Alma Jodorowsky
Thomas: Jérémie Laheurte
Emma’s mother: Anne Loiret
Emma’s father: Benoît Pilot
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.