Blue Is the Warmest Color | Chicago Reader

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Rated NC-17 · 175 minutes · 2013

Drama, Romance
A young lesbian couple (Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos) weather a series of ups and downs in this sappy French drama by Abdellatif Kechiche (The Secret of the Grain). Seydoux and Exarchopoulos deliver worthy performances, but Kechiche mishandles his ultrawidescreen frame by shooting almost every scene in the same shallow-focus medium close-up. He deviates from this drab aesthetic in a series of fiercely graphic sex scenes, but the results aren't any better. The sequences are meant to signify the characters' sexual and emotional awakening, but the film's harsh verisimilitude—not to mention Kechiche's leering camera—undercuts any poetic qualities. Despite the pretense of sophistication, this is nothing more than a dressed-up, overlong installment of Emmanuelle. In French with subtitles.
Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
Producer: Olivier Thery-Lapiney, Laurence Clerc, Abdellatif Kechiche, Vincent Maraval and Brahim Chioua
Cast: Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos, Salim Kechiouche, Mona Walravens, Jeremie Laheurte, Alma Jodorowski, Aurélien Recoing, Catherine Salée, Fanny Maurin, Benjamin Siksou and Sàndor Funtek

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