- Product Rating -

Art House Asshole : Blue is the Warmest Color

| September 23, 2016

You know how when you’re wanting to go to the movie theater and you look up all the films that are showing and there are alway at least three that you’ve never heard of, let alone have any interest in seeing? Well, good news! I’ve seen those movies. I spend most of my theater experiences in art house theaters watching those movies that you’ve never heard of and then never watch. Yeah, I’m that hipster asshole. My goal with this is to spread information out about these films, that way you can decide one of the following. “That actually sounds pretty cool! I want to see that now!” or “Man, I’m glad I decided to go see the new superhero movie!”. So without further ado, here is my article and review of Blue is the Warmest Color.

I’ll be frank at the start of this review. Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color is one of my favorite films of all time. If you listen to the podcast enough with me on it, I have brought this film up at least twice. I know some disagree with me on this, if you listen to Filmsplosion 2015 you can hear Steve of Alamo Denver and I talk about what is the greatest LGBT film of all time, but I do think this is the greatest LGBT film of all time. We can get into my rebuttal for the complaints people have about this film, but I will always absolutely adore this film from the bottom of my heart.

Sometimes I will go one step further than saying this is the greatest LGBT Film of all time and occasionally will say this is one of the greatest love stories of all time as well. Re-watching this film for this review reminded me how heartwarming and heartbreaking this film can be, and I do think this film affects me more than almost any other romance film I’ve seen almost ever. And I feel the reason for this being the fact that the film feels extremely real.

The film has a very realistic and personal view of the two characters lives. None of the cinematography is “beautiful” in the traditional sense. None of the shots look like they are set up, except for a few which we will get into later, they all have a very hand-held feel to them. With this setup, it doesn’t feel like you are watching a movie, but are actually with these characters. You feel less like you are watching the story play out, but are part of the story with them.

Along with the cinematography, the writing and the acting are very natural as well. Both the leads played by Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux, give the performances of their careers in this film. I understand that Adèle Exarchophoulous is only twenty-two as of writing this and has a very big career ahead of her, but I think it will be very difficult for her to ever top this performance. Both characters work so well with each other that it makes everything that happens in the film so much better and harder when the tones change. Both feel so natural. When the characters smile you see the smile in their eyes, not their mouths. When the characters are hurt you can see it in their eyes. If you are ever wanting to critique acting, watch the eyes. Because if you can’t see it in their eyes they aren’t feeling anything. And everything in this film is told through the eyes.

When I was watching the film this week, I was accompanied by a few friends who had also seen the film before. One of the complaints that one of my friends had was that there are so many eating scenes in the film and every character eats extremely sloppily. I will admit, that I did not notice this before. So when I watched the film, this time, I did notice that yes, there are a lot of eating scenes. For the first hour or so I was trying to figure out what the eating scenes meant, and it wasn’t until the next day that I realized that this is going into the natural aspect of the film. Kechiche was going for a very naturalistic view of love, relationships, and humanity. This is the same reason that there are many shots of Adèle Exarchopoulos sleeping, where the actress didn’t realize she was being filmed. Along with this feeling, you have the eating scenes. Yes, there are a lot of eating scenes. But people eat a lot. And what my friend was critiquing about everyone eating sloppily, I can say that is how people eat. We eat sloppily sometimes. This film doesn’t sugar coat life. It shows the dirty to everything. Including sex.

Now we get into what this film is, unfortunately, known for. The biggest complaint that I have heard about this film is that the sex scenes in the film are extremely long and in some people’s minds, unnecessary. Yes, the sex scenes are very graphic and go on for a long time, to the point where I think that one of the sex scenes is ten minutes long. I defend this saying that it goes with the natural view the film has. I view these scenes as somewhat uncomfortable and too long, because if you were watching your two friends have sex it probably wouldn’t be a fun and comfortable experience. The director wants you to know these characters. He wants you to be friends with these characters. And with that, he wants you to see all of them, even the parts you might not want to see. I understand if this doesn’t work for some people. It is definitely a choice that not everyone is going to agree with, but I personally agree with it and it is one of the reasons why I absolutely adore this film.

I one-hundred percent recommend this film. This is a three-hour long film that I have seen four times. I struggle to re-watch most films, and if I like this film enough to dedicate twelve hours of my life to it, then maybe at least try to watch it. It’s beautiful from start to finish. I sob at the end of the film and  laugh at the beginning. If you are a fan of romance films, you owe it to yourself to watch this film and figure out if you love it or if it isn’t for you.

About the Author:

Henry Jarvis is the youngest member of the Reel Nerds. His favorite films include Space Jam and Dude, Where’s My Car? and Lawrence of Arabia. He enjoys those pretentious art house films that Ryan hates. He sees a lot of movies! Honestly more than he should. He replaces his lack of social skills and meaningful friendships with his love of cinema! He’s also crying while he writes this biography for himself. His favorite directors are Andrei Tarkovsky, David Fincher, and David Lean.
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