Blue is the warmest and saddest color

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La vie d’Adèle chapitre 1 et 2, its original title, has created a huge buzz even before its release in France. After winning the Palme d’or at the prestigious Cannes film festival, Director Abdellatif Kechiche has had to justify its work ethic after Actress Léa Seydoux (Emma in the movie) complained about the pressure, long hours (the director asked them to do and redo scenes endlessly) and sexual crudeness of some of the scenes. The technical crew also blamed the director for not paying them enough, while a record of 800 hours long rushes have been shot.
The author of the graphic novel, Julie Maroh, also critiqued the free adaptation of her work, especially the now infamous and very visual sex scenes, which she believes aren’t realistic. “It seems clear that what was missing on set was lesbians. I don’t know who gave information to the director and actresses (who are all straight) and I haven’t been consulted”.

Despite the polemics and harsh conditions on set, the movie has been praised by critics and brought fame to both Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, the main protagonists of this intense and powerful movie. Miss Exarchopoulos hasn’t taken part in this controversy explaining for instance to French website Lepetitjournal.com that “she would be more than happy to work again with Abdellatif Kechiche”. If the director wanted to push them to get real and honest feelings caught on film, it is a success. They both shine in their role, making us feel their happiness, their violence, their hunger for more, their fatigue, their grief.

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If it is sad that the movie was more known in France for the conditions on set rather than for the quality of this work, I recommend to everyone to go watch Blue is the warmest colour (opening in theaters this week in Thailand). This simple yet beautiful love and more generally life journey will keep you on your feet the whole time. It is not a story about lesbians, but about identity and the difficult transition from the innocence of childhood to the harsh consequences of adulthood. Does love need to be the focus of life? Does sex rules our love? Does money mean happiness? What is success? So many questions are raised by this movie.

As soon as it ends, you will want more and I would be glad for Mr Kechiche to continue Adèle’s journey in the next decade.  The opened-to-interpretation last scene of the movie as well as its mysterious title of “Chapter 1 and 2”, make us think that the life of Adèle would be unfold once again in the next few years. But as Abdellatif Kechiche said: “it might happen with different actresses”.

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Synopsis
Adèle is a high school student that is beginning to explore herself as a woman. She dates guys but has no satisfaction from their company, and is rejected by female friends that she does desire. She dreams for something more. She meets Emma who is a free spirited girl which Adèle’s friends reject due to her sexuality, and by association most begin to reject Adèle. Her relationship with Emma grows into more than just friends as she is the only person with which she can express herself openly. Together, Adèle and Emma explore social acceptance, sexuality, and the emotional spectrum of their maturing relationship.

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