Blue Is the Warmest Color is, on one hand, a three-hour lesbian love story about two Frenchwomen of different classes, partially set in the art world, with a certain amount of NC-17-rated sex. Alternate summary: This is a love story.
I prefer the latter description. Abdellatif Kechiche’s film, which won the top prize at Cannes earlier this year, is rooted in the specifics of its situation, but is universal in ways that make it belong to everybody.
Our main character is Adèle, played by the splendid Adèle Exarchopoulos. She begins as a high-school student and grows up during a half-dozen years, mostly involving her relationship with Emma (Léa Seydoux). Emma is a dashing figure, artsy and experienced, with upper-class parents and intellectual friends. It’s a lot to handle for Adèle, who comes from humbler origins and really just wants to teach grade-school kids.