Viewed – 18 September 2014 Netflix
As an admirer of world cinema and especially French cinema, the acclaim and word of mouth surrounding this Palm D’or winning drama certainly caught my attention. Adele is a young woman just beginning to explore her sexuality. After a chance encounter with a mysterious girl with blue hair; meaningless advances and experiences with boys seems alien, and so she finds herself, still unsure and experimenting, seeking out the one girl who might just make it all fall into place … and so begins a passionate romance and an emotional coming of age tale.
This brilliantly observed and emotional take on young love, sexual awakening and one woman’s self-discovery was very absorbing. The performances here are first rate and convey that awkward yearning, that stolen kiss and the urgency of passion and desire very well indeed. Actress Adele Exarchopoulos is superb and very believable, aided by the free-spirited but complex Lea Seydoux as Emma, the girl of Adele’s dreams. As a French movie as expected when it comes to sex, the movie depicts it unflinching, highly explicit but very real – I’d even hazard a guess that nothing is being faked, but I could be wrong. I did find such scenes too drawn out to the point of making me feel a bit uncomfortable … especially considering the apparent young ages depicted. However as a love story this was both well told and convincingly portrayed to the point of really hitting me emotionally at times – damn Adele is the most believable crier I’ve ever witnessed.
It’s too long at nearly three hours, with the simplicity of the tale not helping, and I began to yearn for a major twist or a shocking event which never came. For a realistic take on love however this was still impressive, even if it left me wanting overall.
Verdict: 3.5 /5