March 16th, 2014

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013) ***

Well, Criterion has done it again. In the midst of releasing dozens of artsy-fartsy movies; they manage to put out some first-rate smut. First, there was Salo. Then there was In the Realm of the Senses. Now, we have Blue is the Warmest Color. I’m not saying it is as great as those two classics, but you know if it’s a Criterion nudie flick, it’s gonna be good.

Adele (Adele Exarchopoulos) is a young introverted girl in France who is trying to find love to no avail. When Adele sees the blue-haired Emma (Lea Seydoux) on the street, it’s love at first sight. She eventually follows Emma to a gay bar and they start seeing each other. Pretty soon, they are head over heels in love with each other. But their blissful relationship is ultimately short-lived.

I really enjoyed Blue is the Warmest Color. But before I begin, I have to get something off my chest. Okay, first of all, there is no reason why this flick needed to be three hours long. Maybe this is just my inner Harvey Weinstein talking, but if you chopped a good hour of talk out of this thing, it would’ve played a lot better. Seriously, if you lose all of the parade scenes, the dinner scenes, and classroom scenes from the movie, it would be under the two hour mark easily.

But the thing that irked me the most about Blue is the Warmest Color has nothing to do with the film itself; rather of how it was received. When the flick came out, people fell over themselves to praise it, but honestly this story is nothing new. I mean guys like Joe Sarno and Radley Metzger were making the same exact kinds of films in the ‘60s and ‘70s and did anyone give them the Palme d’Or? No.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, this is a really good movie. It’s way too long, sure, but the performances are fairly awesome. Exarchopoulos and Seydoux are excellent and they have a lot of chemistry together; both in and out of the bedroom.

I mean this flick has some of the best lesbian scenes in the history of the world. There’s this one scissoring scene in particular where they’re scrunched together like a pretzel that is simply mindblowing. Guys like Jim Wynorski and Fred Olen Ray need to take notes the next time they make a Skinamax movie. Gentlemen, the gauntlet has been thrown down. The bar has been raised. It’s now up to you to continue this level of excellence.