While some described the race for the Cannes Palm d’Or as one of the most open fields for years, there been no doubt that for the past few days, Blue Is The Warmest (aka La Ves d’Adele – Chaptire 1 & 2) had emerged as the favourite. The only question was whether the jury would shy away from giving the award to a movie with graphic, unsimulated lesbian sex.
It turns out the likes of Steven Spielberg, Lynn Ramsay, Nicole Kidman, Ang Lee and Christoph Waltz weren’t put off by that (and looking at how LGBT friendly those names have been, it’s not too much of a surprise).
Blue Is The Warmest Colours is about, ‘At 15, Adele doesn’t question it: a girl goes out with boys. Her life is turned upside down the night 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. In front of others, Adele grows, seeks herself, loses herself, finds herself…’
Lea Seydoux and Adele Exarchopolis star in the movie. Jury Chairman Spielberg commented, “The film is a great love story We were absolutely spellbound by the two brilliant young actresses, and the way the director observed his young players.”
France wasn’t just about Cannes this weekend, as hundreds of thousands took to the streets to march against gay marriage. However Spielberg added on the debate, “Many brave [US] states are resolving in way that those of us in favour of gay marriage are happy about.”
Lynn Ramsay, the British director of We Need to Talk About Kevin, said: “Everyone on the jury saw behind the gay relationship, it was just a love story, and it didn’t matter if it was gay or straight.”
Spielberg also had great praise for the leads, saying “It was an obvious conclusion that without Léa and Adèle, the synergy could not have happened. If the casting had been even slightly different, if anything had been a little left of centre, it wouldn’t have worked. It was the perfect choice from a sensitive film-maker.”
There have been some suggesting that despite its Cannes success, Blue Is the Warmest Colour may have difficulty finding distribution unless Abdellatif Kechiche agrees to cuts, due to the ‘shocking’ (a word that’s been used quite a lot, unfortunately) lesbian sexuality in the movie, including one particularly graphic, unsimulated scenes (the fact it’s three hours long may also limit it commercial appeal).
Kechiche does appear to be amenable to cuts if it’s a deal-breaker, saying “We wouldnt want the film not to be screened because of one scene. But of course that wouldnt apply if it were the whole thing.”
What no one seems to be in doubt about is that it’s a very involving and emotional movie.
Other awards included the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis getting the Grand Prix, while Berenice Bejo (The Artist) nabbed Best Actress for Asghar Farhadi’s The Past, and Bruce Dern picked up Best Actor for Alexander Payne’s Nebraska.