Blue Is the Warmest Color

Two young women fall madly in love.

Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche|

(NC-17)

****

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The much-talked-about sex scenes in this award-winning French import “definitely cross the barrier between performance and the real deal,” said Jordan Mintzer in The Hollywood Reporter. When Adèle, a high school junior, and Emma, a slightly older artist, fall into bed, sex and love “become one and the same”—an act of communion essential to exploring the story’s larger question: How do two people in love overcome their differences? A “shattering masterpiece,” this winner of the top prize at the Cannes film festival features “two of the best female performances I’ve seen in years,” said Jon Frosch in The Atlantic. Léa Seydoux is a force as Emma, and as the naïf, Adèle Exarchopoulos is able to convey “seismic swells of sadness and yearning.” I can’t deny that the bedroom scenes at times seem staged for the benefit of the male gaze, said Anthony Lane in The New Yorker. But it’s the lovers’ desperation that matters most. We spend most of the film’s three-hour running time watching Adèle working to fit such passion into a life filled mostly with other concerns. Blue’s real fuel is “the dread of being alone.”

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