Portraying sex on-screen has always been a tricky thing for movies to show. It seems like most directors who want to explore these issues have always fall into the same problem while making them. How does one shoot a love scene that is very erotic, but doesn’t become pornographic. To be fair, I’m sure that there are going to be other people who will argue that this is nothing more than pornography. They can easily say that it shows long takes of women having sex with each other to do nothing but arouse mostly male viewers. Now it is true that both lead actresses are indeed attractive, and yes I did enjoy seeing them both get naked. In no way do I consider those moments with them to be confused with what is shown in most adult films. The main focus of X rated movies is to excite its viewers by making you imagine you are the performers in that scene. That is why in most porno’s you have the generic stereotypical character.(IE The pizza delivery guy, the boss, The hot teacher, sexy MILF, ect.) However the sex scenes with both characters in “Blue is The Warm…” never made me feel like I should join them. In most porno scenes that show women having sex with each other. You will see one or both ladies looking more at the camera (aka the viewer) then at their partner. In this one both ladies only look at the other and no one else. This helps it to become that much more intimate. Now to be fair, it is true that some studios like Digital Playground and Wicked are trying their best to make movies with a better story line and characters. It’s still nowhere near the same dramatic level as this movie.
Both lead actresses are great and I can fully understand the praise that they are giving. Not only do they expose themselves physically, but they also expose themselves emotionally too. Next to the “Before Sunrise series” This is a really close portrayal of watching two people connect and fall in love. Only with sex instead of dialogue. Both Lea and Adele have stated that the experience making this was horrible and that they will never work with the director again. I do hope they appear together in other films. They can even keep their clothes on for the whole thing, and I would still watch them.
The only thing I can’t understand is why this won the top prize at Cannes this year. Then again I said the same thing when “Amour” won last year. I can under standing giving Both Lea Sedoux(“Midnight in Paris“) and Adele Exaarchopoulous the prize, but there was nothing really memorable about the story. The graphic novel of which this is based on looks to be so much better and that’s due mainly to its structure. In the book the story is told from Emma’s( Miss Seydoux)point of view as she discovers a diary by her former lover around the time of her death.(In the book she is called Clementine, but in the movie she is called Adele Played by Miss Exarchopoulous) The story flashes back to when they first met and fell in love. There are conflicts in the book that involve Clementine/Adele trying to hide her homosexuality from her friends and parents, but in the movie they are only addressed once but are soon forgotten about. The only conflict we get is when one of the girls is caught cheating and the other one kicks them out. But by then the movie is almost over. If this had a bit more tension right away and we are seeing their struggle to maintain this relationship. I would have liked this a little bit more. The issue with Adele’s parents and a few of her friends looking down on her lifestyle would be good ingredients for a conflict. After all this movie is almost three hours long and it’s kind of odd that it sidesteps those issues. Now I usually don’t mind movies that have a long running time, because they are building on character development and it’s pace is constantly moving. Therefore it never feels long for me. Movies like “Casino“, and “Magnolia” are ones that come to mind that are indeed long, but it never feels that way because it’s story is always moving. “Blue is the Warmest Color” starts off very well when both characters meet, but it slows down heavily after their relationship is established. There was also scenes with one of the characters at her job that could have easily been cut.
Another movie that tells the story of a straight women exploring the idea of a same-sex relationship, was “Kissing Jessica Stein” Both main characters have anxiety and joy about their new relationships and are afraid to tell their families. But Jessica Stein’s story has a conflict and a resolution (albeit very clumsy and weak) that “Blue is the Warmest Color“does not. I appreciate the risks it takes and I love the two main leads. It just needed to have a better story for me to fully recommend.