Run time: 179mins

Distributor: Artificial Eye

Director: Abdellatif Kechiche                          Cast:  Lea Seydoux, Adele Exarchopoulos


Synopsis:  At 15, Adele’s life is changed forever when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire, to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. Over the next decade Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself…

This year’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner is a genuinely passionate, bold and erotic love story that was deemed so extraordinary – and the actresses’ performances so fearless – that the director Abdellatif Kechiche shared the award with his two leads, something that has never happened before in the history of the Festival. Together with some explicit sex scenes and rumours and rows over allegations of bullying and harassment, the film has earned plenty of media attention since.

However this is not the sum total of this excellent film, which honestly and sensitively documents all aspects of a relationship in a universal and unsentimental way that is relevant to all sexualities – it is not merely a lesbian film.  Told in slow, long takes and thanks to the superb acting of the two leads, the story is riveting, from the love-at-first-sight glimpse that Adele (Adele Exarchopoulous) has of the Bohemian, blue haired Emma (Léa Seydoux from Mission Impossible, Inglourious Basterds, Midnight in Paris) to the disintegration of their love affair.

Although the sex scenes will no doubt make for uncomfortable viewing for some, such authenticity is rarely seen on screen – the outcome is neither gratuitous nor pornographic.

A haunting love story that stays with you long after you have left the cinema, the most memorable aspect is possibly the luminous acting of Adele Exarchopolous. Her wonderful face subtly registers feelings from longing, satisfaction, shame and anger to grief, boredom and loneliness, in a truthful depiction of self-discovery which is both personal and universal in its themes.

Images courtesy of Artificial Eye