Audiences were captivated by the emotionally charged love story of two young women in the French drama La Vie D’Adele at the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival. The film, titled Blue is the Warmest Color in English, received the Palme d’Or, the highest honor of the festival, and achieved incredible acclaim from audiences and critics for its startlingly raw and artful portrayal of a lesbian relationship.
Steven Spielberg, president of this year’s festival awards jury, announced that he and his colleagues were proud to present the highest award to “three artists,” La Vie D’Adele’s director Abdellatif Kechiche as well as lead actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos. Spielberg isn’t the only one who is glad that the film received such a prestigious honor, as it quickly became a favorite of many at the festival this year.
In an article for the The Atlantic, critic Jon Frosch writes that La Vie D’Adele
“is both a meticulous portrait of an individual and a broader study of the ways socioeconomic differences come to bear on that individual’s romantic life…Kechiche also proves once and for all that realism does not have to be austere or punishing; his film is warm and sensually alive, the camera sticking close to the actors’ faces and bodies without fetishising them…You get so caught up in the fly-on-the-wall thrill of seeing these characters in their everyday lives that it’s easy to forget the tremendous technical craftsmanship involved.”
Indeed, it could be easy for a film like this to lose its meaning in graphically sexual scenes, but instead, La Vie D’Adele tactfully portrays the layers of complexity that can exist in any relationship. This is perhaps what allowed the film to truly resonate with audiences of all kinds, while lending visibility to on-screen lesbian relationships in an industry where they are few and far between. Audiences and critics alike can applaud this artful portrayal of a relationship and coming of age of two young women.