I have infinite tenderness for you. I always will my whole life.
This is the most authentic piece of art I think I have ever seen. It is so real and raw as if the audience is peeking into the most personal, intimate moments of someone’s life. Actress Adèle Exarchopoulos makes this all conceivable with an impossibly perfect performance portraying a character by the same name, whose life is defined by beautiful and heartbreaking moments, decisions, and relationships. To be honest, this is not the kind of film that finishes and you rave on and on about to all your friends. It is a beautiful, understated 3 hour film that is more of a character study than a high energy or surprising plot. When it ended, I was left with a feeling I couldn’t explain. I loved it but I felt subdued and almost unsettled. It’s been nearly 2 months since I first watched it and I still can’t get it out of my head. Adèle is a striking and fragile creature, and it is no wonder that this film has been nominated and won numerous rewards.
The film spans over a few years, enough time to show Adèle’s journey from girl to womanhood. We first meet luscious-lipped Adèle as a fresh-faced junior, exploring her sexuality and attempt at a budding romance with a fellow male classmate. She wants to like him, but can’t help feeling like she is faking it. And then she meets Emma, a self-assured woman with blue hair. Instead of diving right into their relationship, the film does a remarkable job of treading water just at the surface of affection. It is obvious that Adèle’s connection and attraction to this woman is so different from what she has ever experienced in the past. Adèle is enamored by Emma’s confidence, artistry, and intelligence. The electricity between them is like a spark in the chest, but both hold back. The buildup is beautiful and captivating, so much so that you can’t help but cheer for their first kiss… and more. Once they take the plunge, there is no going back.
If you have heard anything about this film, it is the reputation for the amount of X-rated sex scenes. The content is very explicit, but nothing like the emotionless and degrading porn that society is accustomed to. The sex scenes are lengthy, real, and sensuous moments caught on film. Léa Seydoux (Emma) and Adèle Exarchopoulos (Adèle) developed an immensely close relationship due to the grueling nature of filming. Director Abdellatif Kechiche would shoot one scene 100 times or spend 10 days on a single sex scene to get it just right. No hair or makeup was ever used on set and Kechiche also had his actors read their lines only once and then improvise from there- attempting to create the most realistic scenario possible, much like director Derek Cianfrance in his film Blue Valentine.
Adèle’s life is changed forever through first love, heartbreak, and its melancholy aftereffects. It is unclear whether Adèle identifies herself as a lesbian. At times it seems as if she is ashamed or uncomfortable in her own skin. She finds herself through love and loss and comes out a better woman. The performances are so powerful and untterly fearless that it feels like you could be living these moments right next to these two women. They way that they breath each other in- through passion, tears, and snot- is an overwhelming exploration of sentiments that gets under the skin. This one will stick with you long after it is over, not just at the surface, but deep down to the core and heart of your soul.
©Doom-Generation.com Movie Reviews for the Sublimely Weird
Fun Fact: Near the beginning of the film, Adèle is shown in a movie theatre. She is watching Enter the Void. It is not shown, but can be heard. I was really happy about this since this is one of my favorite films!