Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss.
Adèle is a high school student who is beginning to explore herself as a woman. She dates men but finds no satisfaction with them sexually, and is rejected by a female friend who she does desire. She dreams of something more. She meets Emma who is a free spirited girl whom Adèle's friends reject due to her sexuality, and by association most begin to reject Adèle. Her relationship with Emma grows into more than just friends as she is the only person with whom she can express herself openly. Together, Adèle and Emma explore social acceptance, sexuality, and the emotional spectrum of their maturing relationship. Written by
This year's Palm d'Or winner is a coming of age story about a teenage girl, Adele (the literal title in French is The Life of Adele), who discovers her homosexuality and begins a relationship with Emma, a college student. For a while, I was thinking this was a good but fairly unremarkable entry into the queer cinema canon, but, over the film's three hours, well, you see why the long running time was necessary. It is just a very detailed picture of a life. It feels more real than most films - it feels like more time has past and that we've just felt Adele's growth. Frankly, I didn't feel the length of it at all - I wanted it to be longer. It really helps that the actresses are so perfect. Adele Exarchopoulos is simply fantastic - this is the performance of the year, really. Her face is so expressive. The film takes place over several years, and you really do see her grow from a child to an adult. Lea Seydoux plays Emma. Her role is less demanding, but she's still great in it. Now, the biggest story of this film has probably been the graphic sex scenes. My opinion on them: I actually do think they're a bit too graphic, gratuitous and almost pornographic. I try to justify them artistically in my mind, and I'm afraid I can't. There's a plot point near the end where you kind of have to know that the girls' sex life was fantastic, but I'm not sure we had to see it in anywhere near as much detail as we did. They're without a doubt awkward to sit through, but they don't ruin the film either.
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