TIFF 2013: Blue is the Warmest Colour – Capsule Review

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Writers: Abdellatif Kechiche and Ghalia LaCroix
Starring: Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux
Runtime: 179 minutes
Rating: R

Winner of the Palm D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, Blue is the Warmest Colour is a beautiful film, and it is easy to see why it is getting so much buzz. The film follows the life of seventeen-year-old Adele (newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos) and her bold, graphically depicted sexual awakening. In French, the film is titled La Vie D’Adele, and everything is centred around her. The film is essentially a saga of Adele’s life, and at three hours long, the audience goes along on this journey with her. Going from a young, naïve, and inexperienced teenager, to having her first boyfriend, to falling in love at first sight with college student Emma (Lea Seydoux) and the frustration and loneliness that this emotion causes her, Adele’s story is compelling and interesting from beginning to end. In realizing that she is a lesbian and having her first lesbian relationship, Adele throws herself into a world that she does not fully comprehend. At such a young age, Adele is confused and not capable of navigating herself appropriately in her relationships, and she becomes selfish and jealous very easily. Her character is fully formed and realized by actress Adele Exarchopoulos, who deserves accolades for her work in this film. French beauty Lea Seydoux is striking as Emma, and easily conveys why Adele so instantly falls in love with her. However, this film is really Adele’s story and Emma is only a chapter within it. It is through Adele’s character that we come to see what it means to be in love, confused, frustrated, and ultimately, alone. Blue is the Warmest Colour is an achievement for director Abdellatif Kechiche and the film should go on to receive high praise riding into Oscar season.

Overall rating: 4/5

Photo Credit: Toronto International Film Festival