Blue is the Warmest Color (2013, Abdellatif Kechiche)

Here’s an email I wrote on the subject:

Blue is the Saddest Movie

Figured I’d see Blue one day last weekend and 12 Years a Slave the next day, as a sort of controversial critic-bait double-feature. Was very skeptical of Blue for the first hour because it’s a coming-of-age young-love story completely shot in handheld close-ups. Not my thing. Also the director comes off as quite pretentious in interviews, plus there are multiple controversies (extended sex scenes causing a NC-17 rating, the actresses turning on the filmmaker, the author of the source story hating the movie) so it seems like a hype movie that’ll be soon forgotten.

But – spoiler alert here – the movie is about this girl who falls for an older girl, they’re together for a long time, young girl isn’t getting enough attention after some years, cheats, is kicked out, they break up. It’s a three-hour movie, and the last hour or so is dealing with the aftermath of this break-up. It’s not the most emotionally complex three-hour movie about a teenage girl I’ve seen lately (that would be Margaret, my runner-up to Holy Motors as best movie of 2012) – it’s very straightforward. It’s a love-at-first-sight movie where the relationship doesn’t last but the love does, which might make it the most depressing movie of the year, at least. The handheld close-ups and controversies aside, it’s a movie that lingers in your mind for a long time – I’m getting choked up just thinking about it again. A massive accomplishment, no wonder it won best picture at Cannes.