Blue Is the Warmest Color Screen 32 articles

Blue Is the Warmest Color


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  • [...The movie has] an unremitting ridiculousness that begins well before the “groundbreaking” lesbian sex—such as, to choose a scene at random, the one where Kechiche films his actresses on a park bench, heads slowly approaching to kiss, as the sun is literally (literally, there is no such thing as subtlety in Kechiche’s universe) photographed flaring outwards between their lips. Said ridiculousness continues with the comparison between oyster slurping and cunnilingus...

  • In truth, it isn’t sex per se that makes “Blue Is the Warmest Color” problematic; it’s the patriarchal anxieties about sex, female appetite and maternity that leach into its sights and sounds and the way it frames, with scrutinizing closeness, the female body.

  • When you've seen Kechiche do something novelistic, as he did with Grain, or daring and disastrous, like Black Venus from 2010, his treatment of girl-meets-girl should have more to it than whether love can last. But the stakes aren't much higher than that. Kechiche doesn't give you anything psychological to work with, and the discourse around both the relationship and the art really is laughable.

  • The seductively lit but dim-witted saga was not a minute underway when an oddly positioned camera angle set off a warning light in my feminist brain, even as I was trying to not remind myself that Kechiche was also the director of that voyeuristic 2010 wallow in female abjection, Black Venus. Why, I wondered, in a shot that introduces the central character as she walks to school, is the focal point her ass?

  • Seydoux and Exarchopoulos deliver worthy performances, but Kechiche mishandles his ultrawidescreen frame by shooting almost every scene in the same shallow-focus medium close-up. He deviates from this drab aesthetic in a series of fiercely graphic sex scenes, but the results aren't any better.

  • Points are triple-underlined throughout (Adèle can’t just meet Emma after first glimpsing her on the street, she has to have a long conversation about the possibility of predestination first), but given the amount of time expended on each scene it’s hard to understand anything about the relationship except that it involves sex... Blue‘s a well-acted plot outline lacking sexual or psychological specificity, exactly the details needed to make the well-trod beats of a relationship drama work.

  • Blue might often be so perceptive, but it’s not particularly well-proportioned... Kechiche spends far too much time simply reaffirming this resilient young woman’s coming of age as a banquet that’s constantly careening off course, both for better and for worse. It’s off-putting that a film of such emotional energy should so often feel adrift.

  • Kechiche is not a subtle director. Blatant metaphors and rampant color-coding abound and the film’s several discussions of art and painting are similarly cartoonish... Mouth typically agape and features permanently unfixed, [Exarchopoulos] is able escalate from stubborn confusion into uncontrollable, nose-drip blubbering in the course of a single long take in tight close-up.

  • When Adèle falls in love with Emma, the strategy of shot/reverse-shot starts to dominate, and aside from their initial meetings, their faces rarely share the same frame. This separation alters the whole structure of the film's visual map and mutes the first hour’s passion... I would like to like Blue is the Warmest Color but I have to concede it ultimately is not a friendly piece of film... It captures how relationships start, but it sputters when showing them fail.

  • ...I think that Blue (and especially Kechiche) go so far in terms of underlining and circling and dog-earing the absolute particularity of lesbian desire that the film reifies it and its characters. The film becomes a fetish operation. We see this from the very moment when Adèle passes Emma on the street. This random fleeting moment is more than a meet-cute; it's like a a chemical reaction has just exploded in the middle of the city...

  • When Exarchopoulos and Seydoux make love, by contrast, the act carries precisely the same emotional weight as do their lengthy conversations about art and literature. It’s communion, not calisthenics. Blue Is The Warmest Color is familiar in its broad outline but bracingly specific in its minute details, and it traffics in feelings so raw that they’re almost painful to observe. And it confirms Kechiche... as one of the most underrated filmmakers currently working.

  • Pornographic only in the most literal sense, [the sex scenes] aren't expressions of a lurid male fantasy, but articulations of the characters' intense sexual chemistry, and they convey, especially in a scene where Adèle and Emma madly lick and grab at each other inside a coffee shop some time after they break up, how the world and everyone who lives in it has a way of evaporating when lovers lock more than just eyes.

  • Kechiche cares more for the feeling of a moment in time than the traditional narrative signifiers, and so is able to focus on less conventional, and therefore more evocative, details. It doesn’t necessarily matter who did what on the day that Adèle moved in with Emma; what matters is what it feels like in the home they share, and that Adèle makes fried dumplings from scratch.

  • This sort of thing is exactly what sets off the most stimulating kinds of post-moviegoing discussions. If "Blue is the Warmest Color" is not a masterpiece, and I don't think it is, it's certainly a provocation, but not a puerile one. Its multi-chambered heart is certainly in one or two of the right places, let's say.

  • Kechiche has said that he aimed to shoot the intimate scenes between the women to resemble painting and sculpture, and, troublingly, he has succeeded; the sex may be strenuous, but the staging is so artful that it evokes passivity... Ultimately, it is mainly the electrifying performances that Kechiche presumably elicited from Seydoux and Exarchopoulos that make Blue Is the Warmest Color a memorable film, however flawed.

  • ‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’ is the most brazenly singular return the ‘Couscous’ director could have made, and the richest film of his career to boot... From this simple, not especially unique love story, Kechiche has fashioned an intimate epic in every sense of the term, its every subtle emotional turn rendered widescreen on Exarchopoulos’s exquisitely expressive face.

  • [The romance burns brightly,] specifically in the intrepid and gloriously prolonged sex scenes in which Kechiche whisks up a veritable maelstrom of erotic release. No position is left undocumented as we're given a near-realtime visualisation of this frantic, gymnastic exploration of the erogenous zones. It's an overwhelmingly beautiful scene that never comes across as smutty or leering.

  • The film is constantly coming in close on Exarchopoulos’s face when Adèle is asleep, and I don’t think I’ve seen any film catch a sleeping face in quite such disorderly, dishevelled repose. The sex scenes in Adèle will certainly prove a benchmark for the depiction of physicality in film – but so too will those tender, intimate close-ups of Exarchopoulos’s face, sweat, overbite and and all.

  • Exarchopoulous and Seydoux are both superb (the former especially in a unabashedly anti-charismatic role) and generating plenty of deserved awards buzz for their physically and emotionally intimate performances. If I can't quite get beyond a kind of clinical admiration for the film, it's due to Kechiche's unadorned vérité aesthetic, a cinema consciously bereft of the poetic flourish—for me a fault, for others a benefit. Your mileage will vary, as they say.

  • La Vie d’Adèle’s narrative structure, with its peerless ability to absorb us into the emotional world of its main characters without being subjected to the traditional dramatic arc of the feature film, is more televisual than it is filmic, aligning itself more with high-end TV drama than any counterparts in the cinema.

  • It achieves the goal of demystifying the possibly unfamiliar nature of a gay/lesbian relationship by demonstrating that Adéle and Emma's relationship is as similar in its ardor, its clumsiness, its routine, as a heterosexual one... Few films have depicted the ups and downs of a relationship with more astonishing humanity and sheer gravitas.

  • As he did in The Secret of the Grain, Kechiche uses cooking and eating as keys to character and relationships. One of his central metaphors is the delicious-looking spaghetti Adèle's father slurps up as the family eats silently in front of the TV. It's a marker the director circles back to again and again as a symbol of the divide that ultimately separates the working-class Adèle from her effete artist lover, who appreciates the simplicity of the pasta, but ultimately prefers raw oysters.

  • Elegantly and leisurely, Kechiche builds a realistic slice of modern-day French bohemia, mostly shot in the northern city of Lille, a place of sunny backyard parties, gallery shows and career-making phone calls... Blue Is the Warmest Color is primarily a film for and about young people; it may linger a touch too troublingly on bodies in tangled bliss, but you can’t deny the film its inner soul.

  • The sex scenes constitute maybe eight minutes of the film, and they're extraordinary, free of the varnished, composed feeling of so much movie sex. Yet, as striking as they are, they're hardly the movie's major feature. Somehow Seydoux and Exarchopoulos manifest an idea of desire, a mood that performers and directors often fail to capture even when there's good on-set chemistry.

  • The beauty of Blue Is The Warmest Color... is the way it drops viewers onto the emotional wavelength of its heroine, inviting them to witness (and hence share) every palpitation of her heart and every high and low she experiences. The film belongs to Exarchopoulos, its remarkably expressive starlet, whose countenance—frequently framed in close-up, the better to read each telling, minute shift in feeling—becomes a grand canvas for director Abdellatif Kechiche.

  • It’s a vivid and vibrant film, alive with color and life, that’s both social and personal, universal and specific. It’s about being young and falling in love and making exciting and terrifying discoveries and screwing it all up and having your heart broken in a country and a world that are transforming themselves with bewildering speed. It’s perhaps the first great love story of the 21st century that could belong only to this century.

  • The immediate continuity from public to private life, from intellectual and emotional contact to the most intimate physical contact, without the intermediate stages of seduction or proposition or the sexual teasing of anticipation or buildup of undressing is the film’s very subject. In effect, Kechiche philosophizes the lovers’ bodies in the same way that he physicalizes their conversation.

  • The cinematography by Sofian El Fani gives the film a slow and sensual feel, with its heavy soft-focus coupled with frequent shallow depth of field used to distance the two characters from the rest of the world as the pair grow up and apart. When the two characters are apart, the film turns from a poetic, sensory exploration of a couple to a messy and chaotic cinema verité style, which reveals the natural ugliness of human life in a modern city.

  • Blue is the Warmest Color is a movie of constant, sometimes rocky evolution, a form it shares with that of a turbulent romantic relationship. It channels inward on a plot level but expands consistently outward in terms of resonance, starting out as a film tuned in to the coming out process and its interpersonal repercussions and concluding as a remarkably sensitive, all-inclusive portrait of the challenges and rewards of having a significant other.

  • Despite most recent reports, Blue is the Warmest Color is actually a superb French film and not simply a destructive wave of controversy waiting to engulf your news feed... Blue is the Warmest Color is not just about the rush of intimacy one feels after meeting a new love; it deals honestly with the changes that ultimately challenge each relationship to go against the grain of societal expectations.

  • The beauty of director Abdellatif Kechiche’s slow-burning and naturalistic depiction of a young lady’s evolution through matters of the heart derives from the fact that its structure and themes are so universal that it’s open season on finding a way to plug yourself into the drama. Three hours fly by, in a large part because of the committed performance of young star, Adèle Exarchopoulos.

  • Kechiche's intuitive shooting allows for the most quotidian acts, which can be as minor as a timed glance or as violent as swinging arms, to become visually percussive in each scene. Amassed to nearly three hours, these everyday actions suggest the lithe spirit beneath Adele, and Kechiche's limber yet exact aesthetic mirrors her ravenous and entirely human curiosity.

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