When I see a movie in theaters, I will write the five things you need to know about it.
5 Things You Need to Know About…
BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR
- Blue is the Warmest Color (La Vie d’Adèle in French, or “the life of Adèle”), a sensual, sexual, emotionally naked sensory menagerie, is a film of great beauty. Chronicling the literal coming of age and self discovery of Adèle, from the tribulations of a high school boy crush to the devastation of an adult breakup, Blue is the Warmest Color gives the viewer a rare opportunity to experience love as real and and as raw as it actually is.
Adèle’s relationship with Leá Seydoux’s Emma (for much of the film her hair is the warmest color) is a most rare love story depicted on film that manages to expose both the more simple, mundane moments and the more fantastical fireworks. The most impactful scenes (more on one of them in no. 4) meander and wander longer than we are used to. We are given time to fully experience, to ruminate, to indulge. An impromptu dance, a meal with the in-laws, or my favorite scene, a celebration of Emma’s art that features the first meeting of Adèle and many of Emma’s bohemian friends, are so rich with text, with subtext, and with an deeper, more intimate layer of personalized understanding. I felt that I actually knew Emma and Adèle not as a stranger in their world for the duration of the film, but as a close friend who has had the pleasure of sharing some of those most meaningful moments.
In case the name and image of “Adèle Exarchopoulos” have not yet reached your list of known movie industry contacts, they will not allude you for long. The majority of BITWC is a literal closeup (there is a little adjustment to get used to the unyielding propensity for this convention) of the uniquely ravishing and mysterious beauty of Miss Exarchopoulous, eighteen at the time of filming, who agrees to let the audience be her makeup mirror for the three hour run-time (it never feels this long). Her face, a storyteller of epic proportion on its own, is not at first glance as striking as it will become throughout the film. The more you get to know her and seemingly each angle, curve, and crevice of her visage, the more you become enraptured in her intimate, moment to moment awakening. There is much discussion in the film about the brilliant writings found in Adèle’s diary. The experience of watching Blue is the Warmest Color is as if we are that diary, exposed to the innermost thoughts and feelings of this mesmerizing character in a strikingly personal way .
I would be remiss not to mention what seems to be the most well-known, over-discussed, and heightened point of curiosity surrounding Blue is the Warmest Color: the graphic seven minute sex scene between Adèle and Emma (Someone in my theatre exited right afterward. Apparently he had somewhere to go). In an effort to quell some of the chatter: yes, it is that long. Yes, it is that graphic. Yes, I have never seen anything like it on screen before. Yes, it matters and yes, it absolutely enriches the story. Blue is the Warmest Color is as effective a piece of work because it is unafraid and unabashed in its portrayal of all moments of Adèle and Emma’s relationship, not just the ones that are easy to show.
Blue is the Warmest Color, propelled by an overwhelming trust (at least during filmmaking) between actors and director, is a film of great power. The simplicity of its story is set against the real complexity of life in such a delicate, considerate, and generous manner. It is as honest and real a telling of la vie d’Adèle as could have been imagined.