Lea Seydoux

Grand Central trailer

Love in the time of great and terrible radiation isn’t a novel concept. Look at Marie and Pierre Curie. Or Bryan Cranston and his coworker wife in Godzilla. Now, the nuclear power from within a French plant is going to spark the beautiful power of desire within Léa Seydoux and Tahar Rahim. It’s science. The trailer for Grand Central, a film directed by Rebecca Zlotowski (Belle Épine) and written by Zlotowski and Gaëlle Macé (Aliyah), is a study of passion over OSHA safety standards, which are there for a reason, buddy. Gary (Rahim, A Prophet) is a worker who takes up a job at a nuclear power plant in the French countryside because if Homer Simpson can do it, really then everyone else can, too. He’s quickly introduced to the inherent dangers of his new line of work through the trailer’s whirlwind montage of safety measures and visions of his new friends suiting up and stripping down in front of stern faces; without proper caution, the consequences are dire and deadly, with the threat of radiation contaminating their every pore and poisoning their bodies.

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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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blue is 02

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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Léa-Seydoux

Jason Clarke, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, and Olivia Colman have all joined forces for Greek filmmaker Yorgos Lanthimos‘ first English language film, The Lobster. The futuristic romance is a bit out there, but nothing too strange from the man who brought us 2009′s Dogtooth. In Lanthimos’s dystopian future, being single is illegal and all those caught breaking the law are arrested and transferred to The Hotel. A far cry from The Four Seasons, Deadline Hollywood reports that the hotel guests are forced to find a mate within 45 days; should they fail, they get transformed into an animal and released into the woods. Problem solved! Don’t worry; it’s any animal of their choosing – it’s not like they’re cruel or something. Of course, one of the men taken to the Hotel escapes to the woods and falls in love (with a human? with one of the humans turned animal?), though it’s against all the rules of their society. There’s no word yet on who is playing what role, though it really seems like these four shouldn’t have any problem finding a mate – right? riiiiight? It’s also hard to judge from the simple synopsis what to make of the film’s tone. Billed as an unconventional love story, it has the trappings to either go the deeply sinister route (think about it, a lot of people probably don’t survive in those woods for very long), or darkly comedic (turning people into animals because they’re not married is kind of funny).

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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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large

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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double_bill

Why Watch? Not to put too fine a point on it, but this film has Léa Seydoux — whom you’ve seen in the likes of Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Midnight in Paris – star of the yet-to-be-released 3-hour long lesbian love drama Blue is the Warmest Color that took home major awards at Cannes. She’s quite pretty. And this short, put together by New York Fashion house Rag & Bone, is basically just her being fashionable. Beyond that, it’s moody and classy and it feels French. Don’t ask my to explain that statement. Just watch the short.

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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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grand central 01

Lea Seydoux and Tahar Rahim are unquestionably two darlings of this year’s Cannes Film Festival, taking front and center in two films a piece (the respective others being Blue Is the Warmest Colour and The Past), coming together for Rebecca Zlotowski‘s sophomore feature, the bizarre and unsettling romantic thriller-drama Grand Central. Gary (Rahim) begins the story unemployed and desperate for work, when he begrudgingly takes an assignment as a decontaminator of nuclear reactors. The real drama, at least initially, comes after hours when Gary meets a gorgeous, provocative co-worker named Karole (Seydoux), and an uneasy romance begins to blossom. As the tensions rise in both the nuclear reactor and the relationship, it heads towards a dangerous payoff in both the literal and figurative senses.

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Hugh Laurie

What is Casting Couch? Today it’s mostly concerned with the comings and goings of British actors, but we also let Lea Seydoux slip in there because she’s wonderful. So far the only things we know about Brad Bird’s super-secretive upcoming film, Tomorrowland, are that George Clooney is going to be starring as a character who may or may not be Walt Disney and, though the film is said to be in the vein of Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounters of the Third Kind, it may or may not have something to do with aliens. That’s not a lot to go on. But now we at least know that the film’s story is going to involve a villain of some sort, because Heat Vision is reporting that Hugh Laurie is currently in negotiations to join this film as the bad guy. So, what do you imagine that means? Is Laurie playing an alien? A rival theme park owner? Are any of the things we think we know about this movie actually correct at all?

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Editor’s note: Farewell, My Queen is opening in limited theaters this week, so please enjoy this re-run of our review from the Berlin Film Festival, originally posted on February 9, 2012. The realm of 18th century France is a dusty one. Period dramas, especially lofty costume dramas, are so numerous that you can barely toss a powdered wig without hitting one. With Farewell, My Queen (Les Adieux à la Reine), writer/director Benoît Jacquot tears off the wig, pulls down the drapes and sets fire to both. The wonderfully un-stuffy film stars and is told through the eyes of Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux) who acts as a cipher for the manic last few days of Marie Antoinette’s (Diane Kruger) reign in the late 1700s. It’s Laborde’s story, meaning it’s the story of a voyeur who watches from doorjambs as the business of being extravagantly wealthy and powerful becomes not only meaningless, but fatal.

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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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Christophe Gans, who first turned heads in the U.S. by making Brotherhood of the Wolf and last gave us Silent Hill back in 2006, finally has another project on the horizon – and it’s a doozy. The French director, perhaps best known for his moody yet kinetic visual style, will be taking a crack at playing around with the classic Beauty and the Beast story, starting this October. Gans told THR, “Although I will keep to a form of storytelling of this timeless fairy tale that is in keeping with the same pace and characters as the original, I will surprise the audience by creating a completely new visual universe never experienced before and produce images of an unparalleled quality,” then added, “Every single one of my movies has presented me with a challenge but this one is, by far, the most exciting and rewarding.” Though I’ve yet to be rewarded by Gans’ new endeavor, I’m certainly already excited about it. But, honestly, it’s not necessarily because of Gans’ involvement, and it’s not even for any particular love of the Beauty and the Beast story. No, the reason my blood is pumping is the quality of the cast that is being assembled. First off, Gans has cast one of the true heavyweights of the acting world, Vincent Cassel, in the role of the beast. From his work in Gaspar Noé’s films, to his starring role in the Mesrine movies, to his role as the ballet instructor in Black Swan, Cassel […]

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The Green Hornet was a brief interlude into the mainstream (or as far into it as he could go) for Michel Gondry. The director seems far more at home when working with the fantastical, the sweetly bizarre, and the effects that are done in-camera. Fortunately, he’s got his passport stamped and he’s ready to return to that world. According to Variety, Gondry will be adapting the Boris Vian novel “L’ecume des Jours” for the screen. According to Google Beatbox, that translates to The Foam of Days, but they’ve added another “the” in for good measure. The plot focuses on a man who invents an instrument that plays both for the ears and nose who falls in love with a woman, but after the two are married, they discover a rare medical ailment which demands that she always be surrounded by flowers. As if that weren’t Gondryesque enough, it also tells the story of another couple and their quirky issues. Plus, he’s got a hell of a cast lined up.

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