Blue Is the Warmest Color – Review
Rated the always provocative NC-17 this French film effort “Blue is the Warmest Color” won the coveted 2013 Palm D” Or as Best Picture at the Cannes Film Festival. A coming of age film revolving mostly around two central characters named Adele and Emma who’s subtle chance encounter as passerby’s at a crosswalk some where in France demonstrably changes both lives in ways that neither could have imagined.
Initially we see Adele, a naturally understated beauty, who is both mature and yet a bit naïve for a pre adult teenager girl. Unlike her school friends that she frequents with, Adele is far more in touch with her plans for her professional working future than being consumed with mindlessly hanging out on street corners and school grounds smoking cigarettes and making out or talking about making out with boys. Also unlike her little cabal of teenage cohorts, she is on the cusp of an awakening of curiosity about mature things; books, culture, her life and her feelings. Specifically, an increasingly new feeling that appears to be ever present within her, almost consuming her every waking thought to a degree. Feelings that are taking shape in inexplicable ways that has her emotionally troubled in not being able to fully interpret their meaning. And while initially she is not certain as to what all this means, she is becoming more aware that maybe, just maybe she might be different sexually.
Emma, is a charismatic blue haired somewhat Tom Boyish twenty something girl, who is mature well beyond her numerical age. She is interested in art, food, wine and culture and is quite versed in talking about her passion as an artist. She readily engages in worldly conversations with tactile depth with a warm erudite personality and seductive charm which defies her initial introduction on the screen with her deliberately tacky dyed blue hair and her subtle “I am in charge” demeanor. The fact is Emma’s exterior is only a temporary mask for the viewing audience because over time she is revealed to be a woman anyone would find interesting no matter her orientation. Emma comes forward to the screen as a highly perceptible person to the people she meets and knows, to the events and circles she travels in and the relationships she holds dear.
One day Adele and Emma meet walking pass each other, giving each a simultaneous subtly inquisitive and yearning glance. Days later they meet again in a club; a club for women where their conversation takes root and where they also find something more grounded and interesting in the other beyond any desire for a casual “hook –up”. They begin to take their time to talk to each other; inquiring about each other thoughts, their passions and their needs. Eventually, their moments together lead them away from the simply stages of curious flirtation and more to a heart felt passion for each other and on the path to a fully committed relationship.
“Blue” the film takes flight after the two women enter into their relationship, but not as you imagine. What ensues is a cyclone of emotions and passion that to me was raw, real, honest and precise as any film I have seen about human relationships. They lived their relationship with vibrancy, earnestness and extraordinary emotional precision that at times felt over powering to me. Not in any critical way, but rather viewing their love on the screen and all of its intensity one could almost literally feel their strands of DNA become interconnect and interwoven with each other.
Ultimately, “Blue” has a trajectory that is uplifting, exhausting, heath breaking and reaffirming. As in the case with most relationships maturity is always that indiscernible variable that can make or break even the best of relationships.
“Blue” makes the case that love for anyone can hurt a soul immeasurable; whether when it is going good and especially when it goes bad. But what this film does is examine love with a toughness and veracity through the highly astonishing performances of the two French actresses Adele Exarchopolous (Adele) and Lea Seydoux (Emma). They create a genuine sincerity and truth through their relationship in the film that is always pure truth.
There is nothing cliché or conventional about “Blue” as it is an up front reality of the human heart well beyond its vital function as a biological organ. Instead it makes the case that love, true love emanates always from the heart first and not the mind and when it feels right and it is really right it can be singularly the most powerful feeling in the world.