Oops… I… did it… again.
After subjecting myself the torture of 12 Years A Slave I had supposedly sworn off all critically acclaimed films. But… while I was writing my review of Slave I wanted to see if any other critics agreed with me that it is a zero star piece of shit. The self-proclaimed “smartest film critic in the world” Cole Smithey also gave it zero stars and as he and I agree on other movies (Robocop for one) I checked out his top ten list. One of his top films is the documentary about Big Star – which I liked – however his #1 movie of 2013 is a three hour French film about lesbians. I trusted his opinion until then so I watched it. Predictably, I want my three hours back.
Blue Is The Warmest Color (title doesn’t mean anything as far as I can tell) won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival which is about as meaningful as a Best Picture Oscar (i.e. not meaningful). It has a 90% on Rotten Tomatoes… I must be missing something because to me it was just a drawn out Skinemax flick. It only has an NC-17 rating because most of the sex is between women and the one graphic sex scene with a man shows an erection, but no actual penetration. Since they took it that far why just go full porno if they were only an inch away anyways? Strange that Smithey would recognize that 12 Years A Slave was nothing more than torture porn and yet not recognize that this film (that he gave five stars) is nothing more than lesbo porn. Also like Slave, there is no story. We follow 15 year old student Adèle as she fumbles her way through relationships, ruining them through her own selfish actions. She does nothing particually noteworthy or admirable. Why they told a story about this person, I don’t know. Scenes consist of either sex or pretentious discussions about dead artists. This is as French as it gets. As usual with Frog films the girls do not wear makeup, zits are not even covered, teeth are fucked up, etc. When an actress cries they don’t wipe off the snot and spit all over her face. Adèle apparently ages as the film goes on, as she goes from being a student to a teacher, but her hairdo does not. All I know is that she’s supposed to be a 15 year old in the beginning and showing her having sex is blatant exploitation.
The only thing somewhat compelling about the film came not out of an artistic plan but out of obsession. Lead actress Adèle Exarchopoulos is in 95% percent of the shots, most of them being close ups of her beautiful face. By the end the viewer knows every pore of her body. She has said in interviews that she will never work with director Abdellatif Kechiche again. Apparently he became obsessed with his star, following her everywhere with his camera. It does create an intimacy with the character reminiscent of The Wrestler. Too bad he wasn’t following anyone interesting.
1 Scissoring Outta 5