Blue is the Warmest Color

“Following the naming convention of [color] is the [adjective] [noun], I can’t seem to correctly name this movie on the first try, without somehow mashing it up with Orange is the New Black. These are the types of problems only I have. Another problem that only I have? Facing a weekend where there aren’t any movies I really wanna watch. I’d promised to save Catching Fire for someone, movie studios were scared of releasing new movies against it, and I was caught up otherwise.

Blue had been kinda low priority on my radar for a while. I’d been hearing some pretty amazing things about it, and there were several times I almost went over the past month. What usually stopped me (besides higher priority films) was the 3 hour run time. For a romance. In French. Although, the language was reason enough to try and get to the theater as subtitles are not so practical for movie watching at home if I’m gonna wanna be sewing or gaming at the same time.

As cheesy as it sounds, I kinda feel like a better person for having gone. It was an interesting film that I’m glad to have experienced. That said, not exactly in a hurry to ever give it a second viewing. Again, three hour run time, among other things.

The film is about Adele and her relationship with Emma, and it runs the whole course of their time together. However, the original French title “”La vie d’Adele”” suggests that the while the focus is on Adele and Emma, it’s really about Adele’s life. Here’s where the three hour run time comes in. Lots of candid shots of Adele’s day to day. Taking the bus. Sleeping. Eating. My God were there a lot of scenes of just her eating. Talking with friends. Talking with family. IMDB tells me they shot over 500 hours of footage, and much of what made it into the film were kinda stealth shots of Adele. There wasn’t even much script to work off of, as most dialog was improv-ed. I thought she was a wonderful character and a captivating actress, but the film could have been tightened up a lot more, focusing in more closely on the relationship.

Something else that I found a bit disconcerting was that there were a bunch of time jumps that weren’t very obvious. We go quickly from dinner where Emma meets Adele’s parents (without disclosing the nature of their relationship) to Adele meeting Emma’s friends after they’ve been living together for what seemed like a while. A couple scenes ago, Adele mentions wanting to be a teacher. Now we find out she already is. The jumps were just abrupt and hard to follow. I also felt like much of what happened in that third hour was a bit forced, trying to give resolution to the story. I’d have liked it better if they’d found a way to conclude things before that third act. Not sure what that conclusion would have been, since the closure we eventually reached did work, but it may have been more effective.

I never would have even thought to see this film if I hadn’t heard so much good about it, including how it blew away Cannes winning the Palme d’Or. I like that I can now feel a part of that conversation.

Blue is the Warmest Color – \m/ \m/ \m/

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