Cannes Film Festival 2013: 22nd May Reactions Part 2 (‘Blue is the Warmest Colour’, ‘My Sweet Pepper Land’)

Abdellatif Kechiche

Abdellatif Kechiche

This morning’s screening of Only God Forgives appears to have sent a few critics into frothy rage (or, in Peter Bradshaw’s case, dizzying adulation). Let’s see how everyone gets on with Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche’s 3-hour sexual awakening drama. We’ve seen enough of these to fill a DVD shelf, so what is Kechiche bringing to the table, precisely? I might have the answer to that question, though it’s best to let the critics elaborate…


Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

“It’s a long movie, and by the end you may well feel every bit as wrung out as the characters. But it is genuinely passionate film-making.”

Justin Chang, Variety

“Post-screening chatter will inevitably swirl around not only the galvanizing performances of Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux, but also the fact that they spend much of this three-hour emotional epic enacting the most explosively graphic lesbian sex scenes in recent memory.”

Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

“It is an extraordinary, prolonged popping-candy explosion of pleasure, sadness, anger, lust and hope, and contained within it – although only just – are the two best performances of the festival, from Adèle Exarchopolous and Léa Seydoux.”

Jordan Hoffman, Film.com

“If you don’t see yourself in its fierce depiction of intense emotion I both envy and pity you. It is a masterpiece of the genre, a damn near perfect film.”

David Jenkins, Little White Lies

“And it is a lovely movie, albeit one which is so thorough and single-minded in intent, that it doesn’t really leave anything much to ponder after the lights have gone up.”

Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

“This is absolute cinema, absolute characterization, absolute storytelling, controlled and compassionate, and bursting with empathy and life.”

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

“Though nobody states it outright, “Blue is the Warmest Color” elegantly tussles with the idea of reconciling desire with other factors involved in the cultivation of healthy companionship.”

Guy Lodge, Time Out London

“From this simple, not especially unique love story, Kechiche has fashioned an intimate epic in every sense of the term, its every subtle emotional turn rendered widescreen on Exarchopoulos’s exquisitely expressive face.”

Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

“Surely to raise eyebrows with its show-stopping scenes of non-simulated female copulation, the film is actually much more than that: it’s a passionate, poignantly handled love story which, despite an unhinged 3-hour running time, is held together by phenomenal turns from Lea Seydoux and newcomer Adele Exarchopoulos, in what is clearly a breakout performance.”

David Neary, Next Projection

“An astounding work; heartbreaking, erotic, utterly true-to-life. The performances are faultless, the script burns with human feeling and passion.”

Jonathan Romney, Sight & Sound

“From its long hot shags to its skin-blotched arguments and sleeping faces, Blue is the Warmest Colour pushes the boundaries of naturalism on screen.”

Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

“If I can’t quite get beyond a kind of clinical admiration for the film, it’s due to Kechiche’s unadorned vérité aesthetic, a cinema consciously bereft of the poetic flourish—for me a fault, for others a benefit. Your mileage will vary, as they say.”


Ryland Aldrich, Twitch Film

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (La Vie D’Adele) is a fascinatingly told tale of love & loss w/ the kind of sex only the Euros could film.

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR labeled as parts 1 & 2. I can’t wait for parts 3 & 4. Expect American version to be edited considerably.

Geoff Andrew, Sight & Sound

Kechiche’s LA VIE D’ADELE a beautifully acted, very well observed account of a young woman’s first lesbian relationship. Prizes?

Raffi Asdourian, The Film Stage

Blue is the Warmest Color: a breathtaking portrait of all different seasons of love, from the first kiss to the final goodbye.

Alex Billington, First Showing

Blue is the Warmest Color – An extremely intimate portrait of young love and sexuality. Overlong, but otherwise a masterpiece.

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

You wait. Some airy sophisticate will claim the sex scenes in Blue Is The Warmest Colour (dir. Abdellatif Kechiche) are “boring”

Xan Brooks, The Guardian

Finally caught up with screening of Blue is the Warmest Colour & can understand the fuss: it is utterly fucking wonderful.

Dave Calhoun, Time Out London

CANNES:Abdellatif Kechiche’s BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR a real surprise: warm, real, honest, raw, exciting, true. Lovely performances.

Robbie Collin, Daily Telegraph

Adèle Exarchopoulos in Blue Is The Warmest Colour, by Abdellatif Kechiche, is the strongest contender for best actress yet.

NB: this is the three-hour, eye-poppingly explicit lesbian coming-of-age drama. You will be astonished to hear that I loved it.

Jordan Cronk, Slant

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (Kechiche) After the demanding BLACK VENUS this=effortless. Beautifully captures difficult dynamic. B+

Mike D’Angelo, The A.V. Club

Blue Is the Warmest Colour (Kechiche): 69. Like CANDELABRA, a very basic rise/fall relationship tale. But the extra hour makes a difference.

Or at least that’s my rationalization. That it’s two women rather than two men probably makes a difference for me as well.

Peter Debruge, Variety

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013), – 6/10

Keeping its terrif star in closeup, faux-naturalistic coming-of-ager cuts b/w talking with mouths full & rutting like porn stars for 3 hrs.

Scott Foundas, Variety

A star is born at Cannes: Adèle Exarchopoulos, channeling the young Sandrine Bonnaire, in Kechiche’s absolutely astonishing LA VIE D’ADELE.

LA VIE D’ADELE: A masterpiece of first love, sexual awakening, family, food, art…in a word, life.

Last ADELE thought for tonight: hard not to be moved by Kechiche’s belief in the undying power of art. Somewhere, Marivaux is smiling.

Kenji Fujishima, In Review Online

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (2013, Kechiche): the rise & fall of a relationship and a woman’s sexual awakening, insightfully done.

William Goss, MSN Movies

La Vie D’Adele (Blue is the Warmest Color), or All is Lust: a tremendously natural lead performance held me rapt. That, and the sex.

Tim Grierson, Paste

God, did I love BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR. Still need to absorb it, but it may be my favorite film at the festival.

Glenn Heath Jr., Press Play

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (A-): Acutely aware of lies we tell inadvertently out of fear. Epic themes, tenderly focused in scope.

Logan Hill, New York Times

Wow. Blue is the Warmest Color is thrillingly realistic, the best film I’ve seen at .

Aaron Hillis, Movie Maker Magazine

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR: Kechiche earns 3-hr runtime by letting dates, dinners, candid sex, quarrels breathe/deepen. Best of comp?

Jordan Hoffman, Film.com

LA VIE D’ADELE has ripped my heart out & stomped on it. A masterpiece. Explicit with true purpose, not shock.

LA VIE D’ADELE apparently already has a US distributor & new name: BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. It’s shockingly good.

I’ve decided to wait a day on my BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (La Vie D’Adele) review. I gotta make sure I mean it before I say perfect 10.

Jake Howell, Movie City News

LA VIE D’ADELE: there’s still a few films left to go, but I think we just saw the fabled Palme d’Or, ladies and gentlemen.

Peter Howell, Toronto Star

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR: Raw passion in the Palais, 3 hours long, but also a pair of affecting natural performances.

Wendy Ide, The Times

Kechiche’s Blue is the warmest colour is stunning: thumbs up. When I say thumbs up, I mean, not literally *flustered by lesbo sex scenes*

Nick James, Sight & Sound

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR is terrific but I get the feeling it’s being talked up in reaction to the Refn.

David Jenkins, Little White Lies

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR (Kechiche) The erotic odyssey goes grime. Stunning performances, but lacked the poetics of GOODBYE, FIRST LOVE.

Craig Kennedy, Living in Cinema

Abdellatif Kechiche has pulled off something remarkable with LA VIE D’ADÈLE but the blunt sexuality will never make US theaters

Eric Kohn, Indiewire

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR: Brilliantly acted, beautifully scripted, sexually frank coming of age epic is definite Palme contender.

Guy Lodge, Hit Fix

Too tired to think of anything clever and lucid to say about BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR, but it might be my favourite thing in Competition.

It’s certainly fighting with BEHIND THE CANDELABRA for the title. I sure hope Spielberg has a hitherto hidden interest in gay heartbreak.

Shaun Munro, Film School Rejects

Blue is the Warmest colour is one of the sexiest I’ve seen in years. Also an exceptioal depiction of love’s course over time

One actress’s performance was so good that when she cried, snot actually ran down her nose

David Neary, Next Projection

La Vie d’Adèle: Sensational, heartbreaking drama, tenderly shot, immaculately observed and utterly absorbing. Adèle Exarchopoulos is divine.

Just blown away by La Vie d’Adèle. Utterly. Cannot remember when a film last drew me in so deep. Intoxicating.

Matt Patches, Hollywood.com

Love and sex and life are messy. La Vie D’Adele explores every facet. A 3 hour character study that earns every second.

Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR – terrific performances, astonishing intensity, one of the few authentic emotional experiences in competition.

Craig Skinner, Hey U Guys

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR (A) Extraordinary, intimate journey of a girl’s 1st relationship & everything about it & before & after. Wow.

Jason Solomons, The Observer

Kechiche’s sure-fire art-house smash Blue is the Warmest Colour : best explicit French teen lesbian coming of age drama. Ever.

Sasha Stone, Awards Daily

Any female critics ringing in on the La Vie D’Adele? One can only take so much of the, well, you know.

Women have lots of different kinds of awakenings. All kinds. The whole spectrum. But.

Blake Williams, Indiewire

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR (5.7): several super strong moments (all in “Ch. 2”) make overall lack of distinction sting even more.

Adam Woodward, Little White Lies

Just caught BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR. Strongest Palm contender I’ve seen, but will probably win best actress over anything


Rowena Santos Aquino, Next Projection

“Saleem injects several elements regarding questions and traditional notions of gender and honour that make My Sweet Pepper Land more than just a run-of-the-mill take on the western genre.”

Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter

“A luminous performance of Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani balances the Wild West humor, adding a note of serious appreciation for the plucky Kurdish women who refuse to bow their heads. Saleem should expand his fan club with this quirky title.”


Jordan Hoffman, Film.com

MY SWEET PEPPERLAND (awful title) is tremendous. Modern Kurdish western w/ exquisite photography, music & performances.

Blake Williams, Indiewire

MY SWEET PEPPER LAND (3.9): Trying to think of a Turkey joke to put here but not coming up w/anything good. Someone who saw it please help.

Nebraska (Alexander Payne) – IN COMPETITION
Norte, Hangganan Ng Kasaysayan (Lav Diaz) – UN CERTAIN REGARD
Tore Tanzt (Katrin Gebbe) – UN CERTAIN REGARD
Michael Kohlhaas (Arnaud des Pallieres) – IN COMPETITION

Max Rose (Daniel Noah) – SPECIAL SCREENING
La Fille du 14 Juillet (Antonin Peretjako) – DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
Magic Magic (Sebastian Silva) – DIRECTORS’ FORTNIGHT
3X3D (P. Greenaway, J.L. Godard & E. Pera) – CRITICS’ WEEK

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