Blue is the Warmest Color

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Blue is the Warmest Color

Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is a high school student in modern-day France where just about every book they study has some bearing on her personal life. Something a little less relevant is her peers’ obsession with boys. She acts interested but her heart isn’t in it – and then one glance at a mysterious blue-haired woman (Léa Seydoux) is enough to send her heart (and other regions) a-flutter. As Adele explores her attraction to women, her path and Emma’s crosses again and they become friends, then more than friends, and if you were wondering what “more than friends” actually means, there’s a ten minute sex scene just to make it clear.
Adele’s transformation from inquiring student to dutiful housewife makes her a much duller character in the film’s second half, and when Emma’s art career (based largely on painting naked portraits for Adele) takes off, that only widens the gap between them.
This is a film exploring the minutiae of a relationship, with numerous lengthy scenes (not just sex ones) giving us the space to take in the countless ways they create their relationship. Some of this is subtle, some not-so-much, and there’s little here that’s startling: once it becomes clear that the women come from two different worlds (Emma is a middle-class arty type; Adele is working-class and wants to teach small children for a living) it’s not all that hard to predict where things will go. But if the relationship we see here turns out to be unable to hold on to its early passion, at least we’re reminded that all this is just the beginning of Adele’s life.
She may not be a particularly engaging or interesting character, but as the end credits roll her story has only just begun.
Written by Anthony Morris