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WATCH: Trailer for 'Blue is the Warmest Color,' Palme d'Or Winning Lesbian Romance (FRENCH)

by Anne Thompson
August 17, 2013 4:29 PM
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Abdellatif Kechiche, Léa Seydoux, Adèle Exarchopoulos win the Palme d'Or for "Blue is the Warmest Color."

Check out this French trailer for Palme d'Or winner "Blue Is the Warmest Color," which was picked up for stateside release by IFC's Sundance Selects, which is likely screening the film at Telluride as well as Toronto before its opening October 25. The three hour film about a lesbian romance isn't eligible to be France's Oscar submission, but the distributor plans an Oscar campaign for newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos as Best Actress. 

While the critical reaction to "Blue Is the Warmest Color" has been resoundingly positive (the jury vote for the film's selection, led by Steven Spielberg, was unanimous), the film has stirred up feminist controversy. Some holdouts against the film cite director Abdellatif Kechiche's male-fantasy gaze during the graphic sex scenes as problematic. And these displeased critics are important: the New York Times' mighty Manohla Dargis, and the 27-year-old author of the graphic novel on which the film is based, Julie Maroh.

Spielberg, in his remarks for the press conference of the Jury, was passionate about the selection of "Blue Is the Warmest Color" for the Palme. Of Kechiche' filmmaking decisions, he said: 

"He let the scenes play as long as they would in real life. And we were absolutely spellbound by the brilliance of the performances, by those amazing young actresses -- all the cast -- and especially the way the director observed his players. The way he just let the characters breathe, the spaces were as important as what they said, what they weren't saying. And we just all found that it was a profound love story... We were really happy that somebody had the courage to tell the story the way they told it."


  • HG | August 18, 2013 11:14 PMReply

    Lets be realistic here. Dargis would not have seen anything if it character of Emma was a man instead. As a feminist, I find Dargis's commentary disgusting. That she takes a film about two women in love and decides, that based on it being directed by a man, that the gaze can only be a male one is asinine. Does she think lesbians are asexual? Does she think sexual attraction plays no role in love between women? Does she think there is no such thing as a lesbian gaze? Does she think gay men and straight women cannot share that gaze which is based on two people falling in love with each other's features?

    If the film was about Adele and Emma but it's sex scenes were all Adele having sex with a guy Dargis would eat it up. This isn't about feminism. This is about Dargis believing that all romance should be malecentric unless it is directed by a lesbian. This is about ghettoization. When I read comments such as Dargis's or Taubin's, I am outraged that they aren't taken to task. When Taubin's criticism that the lovers in Blue is the Warmest Color are "ridiculously, flawlessly beautiful", the obvious question is why that is not applied for the countless films with straight couples and gay male couples?

    So lets be realistic. This is not feminist criticism. This is about some older straight women being pissed that a man made a film which did not have a central male character. That is pathetic.

    As for Maroh her post was embarrassing. Anyone who has read her post saw someone complaining about not receiving credit. That is fine. But her lesbians only have sex this way nonsense is as comical as a straight woman saying all straight couples only have sex this way. Anyone buying Maroh should read this.

  • tyler4all | August 18, 2013 9:16 AMReply

    I wonder if the critics would complain about gaze porn scenes if the director was a woman and a lesbian. stop judging the movie by who directed it and whether they are old, man or woman. judge a movie on its quality.

  • problematic | August 18, 2013 2:33 AMReply

    The male gaze porn scenes aren't problematic because they aren't male gaze porn scenes. I can understand a modern gender insecurity concerning the discrepancy, but it doesn't make it true. I endear the ideas of those who've seen it over those who haven't and the two who have problems with it, being the author watching her work being worked over by a male she believes has all the wrong motives but even her gender doesn't give her the advantage over age since the director is a clear 50 something. Or maybe the internet will just say "old man fantasy", right?

  • Wanker | August 17, 2013 5:44 PMReply

    It isn't a movie about "lesbian romance," it's a film about "child romance."

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