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2013 Cannes Critics’ Panel Day 9: Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Color

Ang Lee won the Golden Lion at 2007’s Venice Film Festival for Lust, Caution, beating out Abdellatif Kechiche’s far more critically appreciated The Secret of the Grain (which would win best emerging actress and a Silver Lion jury award). Oddly enough, this year Lee is among the jury of nine. With the current Palme d”or favorite in his laps, will it be time to return the favor?

I’m sure I’m not the only one among the packed Lumiere theatre/11:30a.m. screening (some members of the jury including Spielberg were on hand) of Kechiche’s Blue is the Warmest Colour (a.k.a La Vie d’Adèle – chapitre 1 & 2) that might have been in dire need of a cigarette. Confession: I don’t even smoke. Perhaps the best shot sex sequence in recent memory (the porn industry might want to take note) drew quite the reaction from the crowd – but this would be selling the drama short — as actresses Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux are simply gold in what is essentially a tale about giving the gift of growth – where the inexperienced teen experiences love as the teen and as a full fledged adult.  This could also be read as an individual becoming the number one person in someone’s life and then losing that ranking. The pain in those instances is of course, masterfully captured by Kechiche.

The portrait is close to the themes visited in Games of Love and Chance and finds the current complicated youth generation navigating a world mixed with pain, hurt, love and desire. We haven’t seen such a across the board love for a Main Competition film in the three year’s we’ve been conducting our daily chart – averaging almost a 4.5 star rating out of five, including three five star perfect ratings and this with another 7 votes left to tabulate. Click on the most recent results below:

Blue is the Warmest Colour, Abdellatif Kechiche Critics' Grid

Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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