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In ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color,’ a young woman comes of age

Adèle Exarchopoulos (left) and Léa Seydoux in the French film “Blue Is the Warmest Color.”
Adèle Exarchopoulos (left) and Léa Seydoux in the French film “Blue Is the Warmest Color.” Sundance Selects via Associated Press

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BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR

The brouhaha surrounding “Blue Is the Warmest Color” -- the epic drama of a young woman’s coming of age that won the top prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival -- has to do with three lengthy and explicit sex scenes between the young heroine (Adèle Exarchopoulos) and her older art-student girlfriend Emma (Léa Seydoux).

Despite the scandale, Abdellatif Kechiche’s movie is more properly about our appetites—for love, connection, life fully and vibrantly lived—and how, at the end of the day, we still end up hungry. The early sequences swooningly convey the pleasures of new love, but the sex scenes are problematic, not because they’re “shocking” (which they’re not, really) or overlong (which they are) but because they’re an aestheticized male fantasy.

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