Blue Is the Warmest Color

Rated 4.0

Arty soft-core sex is part of pornography's vanishing middle class, but Abdellatif Kechiche's Palme d'Or-winning character study Blue Is the Warmest Color gives it new life. Adèle Exarchopoulos is Adèle, an emotionally messy high schooler who becomes infatuated with a blue-haired lesbian played by Léa Seydoux. Both actresses are convincing and passionate in roles that could have easily veered into caricature, and Kechiche's almost agonizingly persistent use of close-ups doesn't allow them to fake it for a second. Over the course of three hours, they slowly drift together and slowly drift apart, but not before consummating their love in a series of gonzo sex scenes that earned the film an NC-17 rating. Based on a French graphic novel, Blue Is the Warmest Color unfurls at its own languorous pace, allowing the characters to reveal themselves naturally, rather than through narrative urgency.