The Vancouver International Film Festival has begun again, and just like last year, I intend to cover most of the films that I see. However, because I am busier than ever at the moment, reviews are going to be short and to the point. On the upside though, I am seeing a lot more movies than last year, so there should be an abundance of reviews coming over the next couple weeks.
Title: Blue is the Warmest Color
Genre(s): Drama, Romance
Director(s): Abdellatif Kechiche
Release Year: 2013
Blue is the Warmest Color is one of the most ambitious and intimate romantic dramas that I have seen in recent memory. It may also be the most elaborate depiction of a lesbian relationship in film, with a 3 hour runtime that goes through all of the complexities and nuances of finding your sexual orientation and realizing who you really are. Anchored by the strong performances of its two lead actresses, Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos, Blue is the Warmest Color is a well-made film that is hindered by its ambitious and far-reaching look at the intricacies of a romantic, same-sex relationship.
Following Adele (Exarchopoulos), the film looks at her character primarily as she tries to find her sexuality and break out of her shell. It is when she falls in love with Emma (Seydoux) that the film’s complex character moments come into focus. Director Abdellatif Kechiche makes every moment feel authentic, as characters wrestle with emotions and decisions that feel like genuine concerns within the diegesis of the world. Adele’s attempts to discover herself are blatantly difficult for her, and she seems angry at how difficult it is for herself to feel comfortable. These are the moments in Blue is the Warmest Color when it is at its finest, as Adele explores herself and tries to find her own path through life. The movie’s raw poignancy is accentuated by lengthy and very explicit sex scenes that help to chart Adele’s sexual awakening, but at times serve to dampen the pacing, as the plot slows for an extended period of time.
It has already been getting tons of praise, but Blue is the Warmest Color really is an exceptional piece of work. Its lengthy nature is a byproduct of its ambitious examination of every facet in a same-sex relationship and unfortunately holds the movie back for me from being a film that I would want to watch again. The pacing is a bit off-kilter as well, but overall, the film is definitely a memorable experience and has moments that will stick with me for a long time to come. Those moments came to life through the great performances by the two lead actresses and the incredible attention given to feeling honest and raw, that is assisted by some beautiful camera work. It would be a disservice not to at least see this film, even if it won’t warrant any repeat viewings.
Screening courtesy of the Vancouver International Film Festival.