Director: Abdellatif Kechiche
This year’s Palme d’Or winning film at Cannes (which was awarded the prize thanks to a Steven Spielberg headed jury), unfolds as a love story between two French girls: high schooler Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) in and fine arts student Emma (Léa Seydoux). As their relationship evolves, they find themselves under the social microscope.
The two leads are the film’s strength. Newcomer Exarchopoulos brings authenticity to the role with a strong internalized performance. At first confused by her sexual desires, she eventually matures and grows, always receiving encouragement from the passionate Seydoux.
Kechiche doesn’t spoon feed viewers with a timeline; you must pay attention. But quite often his direction feels aimless, getting too lost in the characters’ stories, but not in a good way. The film spins its wheels a bit too much. The buzz is mostly centred on the extended, graphic sex scene, breaking down traditional boundaries, and in this, direction and editing are unflinching and profoundly intimate. But with a running time of 179 minutes, at least an hour could be shaved without profound effect to the film. And when it abruptly ends, it feels unsatisfactory after three hours. (Eric Marchen)
Thursday, September 5th, Winter Garden Theatre, 7:00pm
Saturday, September 7th, Scotiabank 4, 2:00pm