fri 30/10/2020

DVD: Blue Is the Warmest Colour | reviews, news & interviews

DVD: Blue Is the Warmest Colour

DVD: Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Moving love story focuses on all our ups and downs rather than same-sex ins and outs

Almost blue: Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux

The BFI this month posted a list of 10 great lesbian films. Recently released titles included wereThe Kids Are Alright, Tomboy and Break My Fall, but there was no place for Blue is the Warmest Colour. Time will tell whether Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner will still be celebrated in a couple of decades, but for now it feels like a Trojan horse for same-sex cinema.

The BFI this month posted a list of 10 great lesbian films. Recently released titles included wereThe Kids Are Alright, Tomboy and Break My Fall, but there was no place for Blue is the Warmest Colour. Time will tell whether Abdellatif Kechiche’s Palme d’Or winner will still be celebrated in a couple of decades, but for now it feels like a Trojan horse for same-sex cinema.

Yes there’s more lashings of fleshy, slap-up sex than in anything not by Lars Von Trier. But there is also something radically new for a portrait of young lovers flouting social orthodoxies: the film is blessedly light on anxiety about the closet. Yes, Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), the schoolgirl seduced by Léa Seydoux’s older blue-mopped artist Emma, may be terrifyingly tormented by the wolf pack at school, and has to keep her moans sotto voce when making love at home. But for the most part the story has moved on from the binary narrative options of in or out. It leaves Kechiche free to explore the meandering course of a young love affair like any other, to let his characters roam at their own pace through sex, meals and philosophy. And, of course, miscommunication, distance and heartbreak.

The camera tracks the puppyish, rabbit-toothed Exarchopoulos through an astonishing performance as she chomps and grins, blushes and weeps (a truly amazing set of faucets). Seydoux, all gapped incisors and gimlet eyes, is a foxy foil as her wise but tempestuous seductress. After the film's nearly three hours have floated by, it’s worth setting aside 10 further minutes for three by no means superfluous deleted scenes (only one of them featuring yet more lovemaking). Also in the extras Kechiche is probed, and explains why he used several editors rather than just one. You can’t quite see from his vague theoretical musings how he earned the trust of his beguiling star. But he did. She says here (if not elsewhere) that shooting the sex scenes were fun. Although sometimes also boring.

The camera tracks the puppyish, rabbit-toothed Exarchopoulos as she chomps and grins and weeps

rating

Editor Rating: 
5
Average: 5 (1 vote)

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