Synopsis: A story of self discovery as teen Adele (Adele Exarchopolous) meets the confident, bohemian art student Emma (Lea Seydoux) and falls in love.
Stan's thoughts: Saw this at a preview back in early November and it still haunts me now. When I tweeted about it I said it was surely a contender for the Best Foreign Film Oscar but, in the joyous afterglow of seeing a great film, I'd forgotten that in the US people are far more squeamish about sex than they are about violence. Also the film has had a very limited release in the US which is a shame because it really is very good.
So why did I like it? Well first and foremost is its subtlety. The performances are so raw, honest and real, so extraordinarily ordinary, very human in fact, that you can help but be moved. Its power comes in part from director Abdellatif Kechiche decision to linger with close up shots on his two actresses who are acting with the very cells of their skin.
And then there is the story. It too is very subtle and very honest - Adele is growing up and with that comes the tensions of peer pressure, conformity and personal honesty. It is an epically small journey but one filled with successes and mistakes, clarity and confusion and you travel every step with her.
Settling down to watch I thought that the three hour running time must surely be indulgent but in the end I found it hard to tear myself away for the inevitable comfort break. I'd be surprised if this didn't make it into my end of year top 10.
- Stan's: 90%
- IMDB: 81%
- Metascore: 88%
- Rotten Tomatoes: 90%
- RT audience rating: 87%