Blue Is The Warmest Colour is a 2013 Palm D’Or Winner, a film which bested Inside Llewelyn Davis for the top honours. It is another coming of age story about a teen girl finding herself and her place, much as we have Lady Bird and Call Me By Your Name for this year’s prizes. It differs in that it is more graphic than both of those other films. Even though Timothee did some nasty things to a summer peach, there was not the European sensibilities of the nude and sexual nature of it.
It has been debated (like below) whether a man can even depict lesbian love appropriately on film, or is a pre-requisite to have a lesbian on the set who actually knows this first hand?
For me I don’t see why a man can’t put a graphic novel on film. He can film what he read which presumably would include the thoughts and feelings of the involved characters. So I have no issue with it. The story is a long one (over three hours) and takes its time from the days of Adele (our Greek protagonist) in high school and figuring out what satisfies her to her taking on a career and being in a more domestic role. There was part of me that half expected there to be “an event” which she needs to make a choice about her relationship and her career. She works with children in school, teaching young grades like 2 or 3. Anyway, that was her calling and she knew it from a young age. With her sexuality, she saw a blue haired women (university student) just walking on the street and later meets her at a bar with a friend. They become involved. There is shown in detail the euphoria of early attachment, the honeymoon phase, and then later as life takes over the more stable steady state. It travels a familiar arc with something that happens and then some time for reflection.
For me this was a bit slow and too long. There was certain chemistry between the characters. Life is about moments, and perhaps lost opportunities as well. But I am not sure whether it was a Palm D’Or winner. It is a more rare find on Netflix where there is more graphic scenes of sex. Life is complicated and confusing at times, especially when you are young and finding yourself. Choices made can take you down a path, and it is uncertain whether that path is one for you longer term. This is a film, however, like the above two that makes me wonder about the impact of film and media on young people and their choices. Do they choose to be homosexual, and part of the decision can be through film and what they see around them, or is it born in them and inevitable and all the media in the world doesn’t change it. The Danish Girl was from early 1900s, as one example of countless throughout history. There is a longer piece that can be written on the subject, and I may get to it one of these days. Just not now.