As a happily married man, I can admit to mentally retreating back in time to the emotional turmoil of past relationships, especially the earliest ones. It’s what sometimes keeps me sane, knowing that despite the many youthful mistakes I’ve made, my life still reached the point where I couldn’t be happier with the woman I’m with. Rare is the film that manages to provoke this twisted nostalgia, but given the near universal critical acclaim that Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color has received since taking the Plame d’Or at Cannes earlier this year, I have to assume this will be one of the few that make the cut. (Or that make me want to cut myself.) Unfortunately, the above trailer from iTunes Movie Trailers just doesn’t do it for me, even though the endless amount of positive blurbage does reinforce my hopes.
Sure, I understand that this is a 3-hour-long French movie based on a celebrated graphic novel that probably wouldn’t be easy to sum up through dialogue-heavy clips. And maybe it does get across this feeling of love gained and love lost through a succession of longing looks while Beach House’s “Take Care” playing over it. But by doing this, it just makes me feel like I’m watching one of a hundred non-Cannes-worthy indie romances. You know how you can tell an indie romance from a Hollywood one? You get five seconds of smiling as compared to a minute and a half of brooding.
But what brooding it is. Actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos, respectively playing 15-year-old Emma and college student Adèle, are two lesbians who start up a tumultuous relationship that is full of all the things that make young affairs special. Namely, hot sex and heart-wrenching breakups.
The trailer doesn’t really show us anything that earns the film’s NC-17 rating, which Sundance Selects thankfully decided to keep, rather than chopping the film up to earn an R-rating. I’m a bigger fan of the slightly more risqué NSFW international trailer seen below, and I don’t even speak enough French to understand what anyone is saying, though the emotions displayed are more apparent.
My favorite modern romance was probably Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and I’m not sure that this will be the film to replace it, but I’ll know for certain once the film is released on October 25.