Because I didn’t post anything for the entire month of November, I never talked about these two great films I saw quite a while ago. Blue is the Warmest Color and 12 Years A Slave. Both are brilliant. Both made me cry. More than once.
Blue is the Warmest Color is a phenomenal film, but it’s also one of those films I wouldn’t recommend to anyone, mostly because most people don’t like the kind of films I like, and especially not films like this. It’s three hours long and very little happens. Like, seriously. It’s three hours of watching people live their life, beginning in high school. If that sounds boring to you, I’d like to say there’s more to it. And though there’s nothing more to it, there’s also so much more to it. It’s beautiful and perfect and just like life.
It follows Adele, a high school girl trying to discover love and what it means. We see her relationship with a boy, which becomes sexual but doesn’t last. Most of the reason is because Adele is a lesbian.
I don’t know. There’s so much to talk about with this film. It’s truly heartbreaking and beautiful and horrifying and completely reckless. It reminded me very much of life, and what love has been like for me, what life has been like for me.It’s garnered a great deal of controversy over its extended sex scenes. They didn’t seem odd to me at the time. For the many minutes the sex went on, I never thought it was strange for the scenes to be there, or for them to be so graphic. And they are graphic. Extremely so, and they’re apparently not authentic for sex between two women, but I guess I don’t care about that. I don’t care when heteronormative sex is depicted unrealistically. So, I mean, while so much of the film feels so real and authentic, this didn’t bother me. Though, I mean, I’m not a lesbian and so I don’t really know what authentic lesbian sex looks like.
But I know what love looks like. I know what love feels like. And this film captures it perfectly.
But it’s also brutal. It’s a brutal and horrifying love. It’s a perfect love that destroys you and it hurts everything inside you. It’s tragic, and then it just ends, with Adele walking away, full of so much pain and regret.
Expertly acted and brilliantly shot, I can’t think of a better film I saw this year.
But 12 Years A Slave might be up there. It’s brutal. LIke, in a hard to watch way. There were parts of Blue is the Warmest Color made me squirm in my seat and break my heart, but it’s very different. This is an existential horror and pain. Terrifying things happen in this film.
It’s Steve MxQueen so it’s brilliant, and the cast is just so perfect and they’re all such great actors, so it’s definitely a film you need to see. The thing about this, though, is that it’s quite different from Shame and Hunger. The style’s way pulled back here and while it’s just as unflinchingly brutal and intense, it’s definitely more marketable. If arthouse cinema had bestsellers, this would be McQueen’s mainstream breakout hit.
It’s a very straightforward film with a mostly linear narrative that’s very easy to follow and understand. But it makes you feel the pain and horror of slavery. The dehumanisation and brutality.
I don’t know. It’s perfect but it’s not easy to watch, but you need to watch it.
I suppose I could say a lot more. I should’ve written a real film review of each of these, but whatever.
Go see these films. They’re important and they’re absolutely brilliant.