Directed by: Abdellatif Kechiche | With: Adèle Exarchopoulos, Léa Seydoux | Country: France, Belgium, Spain | Year: 2012 Blue is the warmest color (La vie d’Adèle) is screened as part of the 66th Cannes Film Festival competition
Inspired by the comic strip Le bleu est une couleur chaude (Julie Maroh) but with a different ending, Abdellatif Kechiche recounts an intense lesbian love story, rife with explicit scenes of daily life.
The film-maker takes us into the private lives of the two young women, natural and sensual, served by the irresistible raw beauty of their lovemaking. "A nude scene,” he explains, “is like watching a meal, a scene of laughter and tears, I need to look at it and find the beauty in it. There’s an aesthetic to find and the complexity is to find that aesthetic. There was much difficult work involved in lighting and framing and trying to create a void around the actresses."
Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is a Lille high school student, with a hunger and passion for literature. Full lipped, voluptuous, Adèle loves life, discovers her body and listen to her senses. From daytime seduction games to nocturnal fantasies to orgasm, she is out to discover the pleasures of sex and is looking for the right partner.
A physical disappointment with a handsome high school student leads her to Emma (Léa Seydoux), a fine-arts student. Adèle meets Emma by chance in a lesbian bar, feels bowled over, her senses burning at her touch. Emma awakens her desire, initiates and teaches her the pleasures of lesbian love, which satisfies her and lets her bloom. Turning her back on convention, constraints, obstacles, her desire – decides Adèle – is what will now rule her, come what may, even if it means going astray or getting burned. "Because Emma is whole, she is determined to see things through and does not know how to do otherwise," explains Adèle Exarchopoulos.
From start to finish of the three fastpaced hours of this masterpiece we are immersed in the moment. The truth of emotions transports us, coupling bodies dazzle us with a burning eroticism that the film-maker manages to turn into envy sometimes lingering 5, 10 or 20 minutes… This complexity reflects Adèle's overflowing love for Emma and although the two actresses’ abandoned rush to orgasm may shock, there is no middle ground in passion. Don't be fooled, it's all about passion, whatever the backdrop. "I very soon completely forgot it was a story about two girls dealing with homosexuality. This had not worried me much during the filming, the point wasn’t to analyze or say anything profound about homosexuality. I wanted to tell a story about two ordinary people and the complexity of their relationships," says Abdellatif Kechiche.
Blue is the warmest color is a masterpiece, a serious contender for the Palme d'Or and a personal favorite for me.