A sunny shout-out to 70 winners at the Cannes Film Festival to celebrate the 70th event which is just around the corner – in no particular order.
As a guy whose sexual preference steers toward females, I will hold my hands up right now and say that La Vie d’Adèle – Chapitres 1 & 2 (Blue Is the Warmest Color) is not just a great movie because of the undeniably unceasing love scene between Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux (I think it must be twenty minutes or so, right?). These two girls act their hearts out for the better part of three hours. Newcomer Exarchopoulos in particular, as she must appear in every scene of the picture. Our personal journey with the somewhat unsatisfied, distracted Adèle (yes, character and actress share the same name) means we get to sit in class with her at school, walk the streets close by her, and experience directly her very private moments. Her relationship with Emma (Seydoux) deeply explores that first bloom of romance and physical companionship, your identity in such a relationship, and how to handle it for the duration. Adèle, who relishes her time in the self-discovery of youth venturing to adulthood, eventually learns the hard way of the pain that can surface with loving someone. Emotions are so raw and piercing here at times, Blue Is the Warmest Color can be really tough going to watch, but you just have to sit through it to the very end. Director Abdellatif Kechiche was on the receiving end of accusations that his working conditions on the making of the movie were unethical and way over what was required (there were murmors of this at the Cannes festival itself) – maybe that shows to some extent on the big screen. Jury President Steven Spielberg awarded the Palme d’Or to “Adèle, Léa, and Abdellatif” in an unprecedented honor – one of the great Cannes victories on several levels.