Everyone knows what it’s like to be young and in love; the sense of elation at catching sight of a crush from across the room, the anxious joy felt when they share and return your affections, and, occasionally, the heartbreak that accompanies the relationship’s end. It’s an experience that Tunisian-French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche has attempted to capture in his latest venture, an adaptation of the graphic novel Blue Angel titled Blue is the Warmest Color. Now, the first trailer for the film has appeared online (watch it above).
A single viewing of the clip alone says all that may need be said about the film, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year, and in running the festival circuit (including the New York Film Festival, Telluride, and TIFF) has received a near-unanimous deluge of acclaim, as well as its share of controversy. Blue is the Warmest Color reportedly holds nothing back in its years-spanning tale of teen/twenty-something romance, and that means raw emotional honesty coupled with displays of graphic sexuality; there’s a reason the movie earned a very rare NC-17 rating from the MPAA.
Whether or not Kechiche means to titillate his audiences or make the ultimate artistic statement on what his two main characters, Adele (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and Emma (Léa Seydoux), share with one another may be a matter of personal opinion. Julie Maroh, author of the source material, herself expressed a firm disapproval of Blue is the Warmest Color‘s sex scenes, but she remains one of the few voices of dissent over Kechiche’s interpretation of her work (though understandable given that she created the characters and wrote the story).
Maybe the most daunting aspect of the film is its three hour running time, a figure usually reserved for blockbusting epics and prestige pictures. In its own way, Blue is the Warmest Color actually does sound epic – on mundanely relatable levels – if only for the highly-praised performances of newcomer Exarchopoulos and the more veteran Seydoux (recognizable from her roles in Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol and Midnight in Paris).
Here’s the full synopsis:
Acclaimed French filmmaker Abdellatif Kechiche’s latest, based on Julie Maroh’s graphic novel, was the sensation of this year’s Cannes Film Festival even before it was awarded the Palme d’Or. Adèle Exarchopoulos is a young woman whose longings and ecstasies and losses are charted across a span of several years. Léa Seydoux (Midnight in Paris) is the older woman who excites her desire and becomes the love of her life. Kechiche’s movie is, like the films of John Cassavetes, an epic of emotional transformation that pulses with gestures, embraces, furtive exchanges, and arias of joy and devastation. It is a profoundly moving hymn to both love and life.
Blue is the Warmest Color begins its limited US theatrical run at the end of October.
Blue is the Warmest Color arrives in US theaters on October 25th, 2013.