Abdellatif Kechiche

Blue

Editor’s Note: Our review of Blue Is the Warmest Color originally ran during this year’s Cannes Film Festival, but we’re re-running it now as the film opens in limited theatrical release. Lea Seydoux has been one of the toasts of the Cannes Film Festival this year, what with her stellar work opposite Tahir Rahim in Un Certain Regard entry Grand Central, and now, In Competition, she delivers the stronger of her two performances in the sweeping, epic, sexy romance Blue is the Warmest Color. The bigger story here, however, might just be the coming out party for newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos, who is sure to become an in-demand young actress overnight. Adapted from Julie Maroh’s graphic novel, Blue follows a young high school student, Adele (Exarchopolous), through the passage of adulthood as she attempts to come to terms with her sexuality. After a failed relationship with a classmate, Thomas (Jeremie Laheurte), Adele seems to find that which was missing in her heart with Emma (Seydoux), a blue-haired, older art student who she chances upon at a lesbian bar after an initial sighting.

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Cannes winner Blue Is the Warmest Color is not a film that necessarily appeals to everyone – explicit sex scenes and its three-hour runtime sort of automatically count out plenty of movie-goers – but Abdellatif Kechiche’s take on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel of the same name does have a certain amount of spectator draw that could cause some hilarious in-theater double takes when uninformed audiences turn out to see the film. “I heard people loved it at Cannes!” “There’s a lot of sex!” “It’s based on a graphic novel!” “Dudes, really, I heard there is a lot of sex.” The chance for shocked audience members to flee is markedly high on this one, though it remains to be seen if people will run because there’s too much sex or too much talking. It could really become its own sport, but we’re not here to take bets as to who will be most surprised by what they see in the Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux starrer, we’re here to help you figure out who will be least surprised by what they see, so that you can have a movie pal to accompany you to the (very, very good) film. Because so many of you are clearly wondering just who is an acceptable movie date when it comes to taking in the NC-17 rated Palme d’Or-winning three-hour French-language film about the romantic entanglements of two stunning lesbians that features some of the most realistic looking sex scenes to hit celluloid in decades, […]

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Blue is the Warmest Color

The official trailer for Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue is the Warmest Color does two things that the international trailer did not: it get rids of the dialogue altogether to eliminate the pesky English subtitle problem, and it seems to have bumped down the risque content to make it pretty decently suitable for work, an impressive feat for an NC-17 film. Blue is the adaptation of Julie Maroh’s graphic novel about a young woman (Adele Exarchopoulos) trying to navigate life and her sexuality after meeting a blue-haired art student (Lea Seydoux). Set to the tune of Beach House’s “Take Care,” the trailer is all meaningful glances and tear-brimmed eyes as it seems we look in on the intimate moments of their relationship. Check out the trailer for yourself here:

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Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color took home the Palme d’Or at Cannes this past May, riding a wave of critical praise given towards what is, by most accounts, an ambitious, immersive epic of a tumultuous young romance. Its sexuality is frank and transparent, and no punches are pulled – this, it seems, is the type of risky, visionary cinema speaks to the very rhyme and reason why Cannes exists in the first place, especially in the context of an ever-homogenizing global market. Recent news, however, has cast a different light on what would otherwise be a surefire arthouse darling. First, author Julie Maroh (who wrote the graphic novel upon which the film is based) all but disowned the film for framing a straight male gaze on a relationship between two women – a serious critique indeed, but not at all surprising considering past Cannes darlings. Things became considerably worse when news of Kechiche’s on-set antics entered the discussion. The film’s cast and crew have attested to exploitative labor practices and possible emotional abuse directed toward the two leads, particularly during extended takes of the film’s central lovemaking scene.

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Blue is the Warmest Color

It’s not safe for work, but there’s nothing in the new trailer for Blue is the Warmest Color that hints at its NC-17 rating. Some flirtation, romance, a little nude modeling and vicious fighting make it look like a typical mature story, but after it’s powerful debut at Cannes, it’s impossible to escape knowing that it’s a fairly explicit film. Naturally that’s earned the film from Abdellatif Kechiche starring Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos as star cross’d lovers the strongest slap possible from the MPAA. Granted, all it really takes to earn an NC-17 from that august body is to admit that gay people exist in the first place (let alone, gasp, showing them kissing or having sex). It’s a good thing the film and potential fans have found a champion in Jonathan Sehring because according to Variety, the president of Sundance Selects and IFC Films is refusing to recut the film for a cash-friendlier rating. “The film is first and foremost a film about love, coming of age and passion. We refuse to compromise Kechiche’s vision by trimming the film for an R rating, and we have every confidence that Blue Is the Warmest Color will play in theaters around the country regardless.” Hear, hear. That’s opposed to, say, The Weinsteins who are cutting movies just because we’re all too dumb to understand them (although I fully recognize that they’ve had their own NC-17 fights in the past). What matters most here is that audiences will get to see a movie that has […]

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Ever since French actress Lea Seydoux dropped my jaw playing back-to-back roles in Midnight in Paris and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, I’ve vowed to follow her career very closely. You see, it’s not stalking, because I write about movie news. The first news about Seydoux’s career that perked up my ears was word that she was going to be starring in a new telling of the Beauty and the Beast story opposite acting powerhouse Vincent Cassel which, to that point, I thought was about the best news ever. But now there’s a new development in the lovely young lady’s career that just might rival it. According to Variety, Seydoux is set to star in a film called Blue Is a Hot Color, from Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche. It’s set to be a relatively low budget adaptation of a graphic novel by Julie Maroh that tells the story of a girl who, quite unexpectedly, falls in love with another woman and then has to face the judgment of her friends and loved ones. This not only sounds like a story that’s ripe with both dramatic and comedic potential, but it also sounds like a movie that will be full of moments that I’ll have no problem shamelessly ogling. If any of my other favorite, young, French actresses get cast as the love interest, then I just might keel over from excitement.

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