The Observer - The New Review - - TUESDAY 19 -

Blue Is the Warmest Colour Film4, 11.35pm (Ab­del­latif Kechiche, 2013) The story of a pas­sion­ate re­la­tion­ship be­tween two young women, based on a graphic novel by Julie Maroh, this Cannes Palme d’Or win­ner is one of the most ac­claimed French dra­mas in re­cent years but also one of the most con­tro­ver­sial. Many ob­jected to what they saw as an in­tru­sive male take on the theme; Tu­nisianFrench di­rec­tor Kechiche pre­vi­ously made the ex­pan­sive, bustling Cous­cous, about a North African fam­ily in the south of France and this in­ti­mate, sex­u­ally forth­right drama couldn’t be more dif­fer­ent in scope. Im­mensely pow­er­ful as a love story, its suc­cess owes much to the hy­per-charged per­for­mances by Léa Sey­doux and Adèle Exar­chopou­los, but the sex scenes, in­tense as they are, fi­nally feel awk­ward in their foren­sic de­tach­ment. Still, few di­rec­tors have such abil­ity to per­suade ac­tors to aban­don re­serve. Jonathan Rom­ney

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