On a day where there was a march in Paris against gay marriage that turned violent (same sex marriage becomes legal in France on Wednesday), the three hour lesbian drama Blue is the Warmest Color (La Vie d’Adele – Chapitre 1 & 2) starring Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux directed by Tunisian director Abdellatif Kechiche took the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival. It also won the FIPRESCI prize which is a prize from international critics.
Here’s what writer Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian had to say about the film:
Fundamentally, what captured the jury’s heart in this movie was the same thing that captured every festivalgoer’s heart. Quite simply: it was passionate film-making. So much of the cinema we were offered at Cannes was variously stylish, oblique, affectless, shocking, funny — all of which can make and did make for brilliant film-making. But Kechiche offered passion. He offered the great sweep, the great surge, the great rush of love. He wasn’t afraid of letting his story play out at epic length, but this narrative substance did not preclude an extraordinary and compelling intimacy. These were remarkable, courageous performances from Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, who put their trust in their director and carried off demanding, explicit scenes with absolute confidence and integrity. Looking back on Cannes, my one regret is thatI gave it just four stars. Its overwhelming emotion stayed in my mind. It deserves five or six stars.
While women were the stars of the winning film, behind the scenes women did not fare well and did not receive any prizes in the main competition of Un Certain Regard (even though there were many female directed films in the section.)