By the time Abdellatif Kechiche’s nearly three-hour romance played the New York Film Festival in 2013, Cannes audiences had famously walked out during an eight-minute long lesbian sex scene that took its nubile young protagonist through a lifetime of lesbian sex in one night. Kechiche’s leering male gaze guides every shot, and the camera lingers on star Adèle Exarchopoulos’s supple lips as she eats spaghetti, teaches, and showers. Kechiche famously filmed the young actress without her knowledge, so often that he had to change the character’s name to Adele.
In spite of all that, “Blue is the Warmest Color” has its insights, mainly when it lingers listlessly on the brutality of all-consuming love. It didn’t win the Palme d’Or for nothing.
It sadly wasn’t a fixture in last night’s Oscars, but for those who missed the chance to see last year’s Palme d’Or winner first time around in cinemas, “Blue is the Warmest Colour” has been added to Netflix Instant Watch. The 3-hour coming of age drama tells the story of high school student Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) falling madly in love with blue-haired Emma (Léa Seydoux), their ensuing relationship, and the personal transformation Adèle must undergo as she comes to terms with her sexuality.
While being one of, if not the most critically-acclaimed film of the year, “Blue” was notably ignored in the Oscars Foreign Language Film category —along with 19 year old Exarchopoulos, who gave a more moving performance than I’d laid eyes on in a long time.