Posted by: greercn | December 4, 2013

Blue Is The Warmest Colour

Two excellent female leads, beautifully artistic direction and a strong story based on a great graphic novel should make me happy.

I’m not. “Blue etc” won the Cannes film festival and has been bathed in controversy because of very explicit sexual scenes and the alleged row between the stars and the director.

So, is it worth watching? Yes and no.

If you loved the originality of Julie Maroh’s “Le Bleu est une couleur chaude”, you’ll be annoyed by the changes made here. Why does Clementine become Adele? Why does Sabine disappear without explanation?

And why oh why do those sex scenes owe more to mainstream porn by and for men than to Maroh’s delicacy and sensuality? No matter how gorgeous everyone is, the sex and the relationship feel unreal and not in that soft-focus surreal way I tend to swoon over.

Three hours ought to have been plenty of time to be faithful to the source material.

Director Abdellatif Kechiche will undoubtedly get the big-deal Hollywood career he wants. Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopoulos are terrific, given the limits imposed on them.

The Stratford East Picturehouse was packed. Everyone there seemed to love it a whole lot more than I did. The subtitles are very good, especially as many of the younger cast members mutter like they’re in a Seattle grunge band.

It’s art, but not to my liking. It’s significant. I’d just prefer not to see snot in slow motion for so many minutes. Even when it glistens.

Interesting points about class differences and social tolerance felt too simple to be true. I know lots of working class families that accept gay people. Here, only the affluent truly accept all.

The school scenes are terrific and French students all look so much more attractive and chic than others. Even the boys look adorable. Lesbian bars are incredibly hip and warm, here.

Does this say something new about love? Nope. There is a great film to be made of Julie Maroh’s work. This isn’t it.



  1. One of the more beautiful movies about romance and falling in love for the first time that I’ve not only seen this year, but in a long while as well. Good review Greer.

    • Thank you. Do read the original Julie Maroh graphic novel, which has been translated into English, as I feel the story has been changed too much. The director of the film has a great future in Hollywood. I thought his “Prophet” was harsh but brilliant. Sadly, I feel the movie missed all of the best points of the graphic novel. Pity.

  2. I’ve seen all the ole lady reviews that subtract from Blue as being too longingly in love with cunnilingus,but then I don’t think anyone see’s this
    isn’t an exercise in porno,but a repetition of sexual exploitation and
    abuse of a minor by an experienced hardened professional.
    With all the hoopla about priests sodomizing choir boy accolights you
    would think this film rates the best message yet,regardless if it sticks
    to the original Maroh gameplan;it still isn’t a sphincter about a young
    person losing her love to an exploiter out to use her for her young
    pulchritude and innocence as an unpaid model and then abuse her
    travails with spittol and street talk insults.This film will last forever as
    testimony that girls are not immune from abuse either.So I rate it as
    an A++ for the topical technique of making the audience swallow a bitter
    pill and A- because it didn’t have enough sex to explain the exploitation.
    I think Adele is truly the queen of FrancoAnglo cinema in a way which
    illuminates her character forcefully and professionally as an innocent
    child lady burned to her core by malevolent Emma.
    illuminates her character Adele as the target of monster Emma.It is a
    horror show fantasy for young girls/jeune fille and should be mandatory
    viewing to stem the tide of young bitter/sweet amour to lesbians.

    which is both tasty and lasting.Her character illuminates Emma’s
    target like a night site pair of goggles


    • I think the author of the graphic novel Julie Maroh says it best when she comments that the sex is a “brutal and surgical display” in the film and it is very different to what is portrayed in the original story. Maroh adds that “gay and queer people laughed” as they watched it. It’s filmed in a way to appeal to young men who are (often) used to conventional pornography. It’s not convincing. There are lots of films that portray making love and sexual relationships beautifully. Maroh portrayed it beautifully. Unfortunately, a male director has perverted the key messages of the actual story. For me, that’s very disappointing.

  3. I am a lesbian and seeing this film has given me a deep disgust and rejection of seeing a morbid man as Kechiche sadly reduces us to the same old thing: mere objects of male curiosity and porn. Here there is no depth, no brilliant script, no plot, no transcendent issue… nothing more than 15 minutes of ridiculous wild sex for men with the intention of selling the movie disguised as the biggest love history story ever told, but it’s only pornography. If two men have been the protagonists (or a man and a woman), the director would never have recreated in a sex scene between them like this and the movie would not have been so brightfull for critics. This movie offers nothing more than the curiosity of female homosexuality and especially the explicit images to prove it. If the couple had been heterosexual and if realistic sex had been treated in a more subtle manner, this movie never had been so praised. But of course, heterosexual critics liked it a lot and for that reason this film won Cannes. It sucks. What a shame.
    Sorry, but I can’t admire nothing in a film with a male director abusing actresses and putting his pornish fantasies all over the screen and calling it art.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful comment! Many of my friends share your concerns. There is a great movie to be made from Julie Maroh’s thoughtful and ground-breaking graphic novel. Sadly, this film – despite all the critical acclaim – isn’t as good or real as it could have been. Yes, as you say, it’s very much a film for men and by men. I still feel the movie has some redeeming features and brings together two wonderful actresses. But, mostly, I agree with you.

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