by Rob Boylan
Curious about what all the fuss was over? Blue is the Warmest Color, the 3 hour Palme d'Or winning film about two girls' erotic journey from Milan to Minsk makes its way to most streaming platforms today.
The explosive film follows the story of Adele, who spots a blue-haired pixie named Emma on the street one day and finds herself trying to come to terms with the attraction, pursuing the attraction and falling deeply into the attraction that the rest of the people in her life don't understand.
Its length, partly-unsimulated sex scenes and verbal dust up in the press between its director Abdellatif Kechiche and its stars Lea Seydeux and Adele Exarchopoulos were all spots of controversy coming out of Cannes, where the film was something of a surprise winner from the Steven Spielberg-headed jury. There was more controversy for the film when Julie Maroh, the original author of the graphic novel that the film is based on, spoke out against the way the sex scenes were filmed, calling it porn.
My personal reaction was that it was a good but not great film. The film sags a little under the weight of its length, but when it is engaging it's difficult to peel your eyes away from the screen. Sitting in the theater I was more interested in the sole lesbian couple who were sitting in front of me and the way they were reacting to scenes. The dramatic scenes seemed to play well with them, while the sex scenes got audibly dismissive sniggers. I had much the same reaction, though I'm not entirely sure if it wasn't colored by their reaction.
Still, the film received a Golden Globe nomination (it lost out to The Great Beauty), though was released too late in the calender to qualify for the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Oscars.