From Graphic Novel To Art-House Cinema
It’s safe to say that my wife does not share my enthusiasm for superhero films and comic book movie adaptations. As a result I tend to find myself watching these types of film on my own at the theatre or waiting until they’re available for home release. When we do visit the pictures together it tends to be her choice, and I’m not complaining, this arrangement works pretty well. My horizons are broadened by her more artistic tastes. Movies we’ve taken in include the wonderful, yet harrowing, Twelve a Years A Slave and most recently the French language, art-house title Blue Is The Warmest Color.
The movie has received much critical acclaim and won the coveted Palme D’or at Cannes Film Festival. Director Abdellatif Kechiche presents on a coming of age tale where the lead character Adele struggles with her identity and sexuality. At times the plot progresses slower than feels necessary and one sex scene in particular with main love interest Emma is drawn out beyond the point of comfortable viewing. Despite these very minor niggles the story is touching and emotional. Adele matures from a child into a woman whilst trying to find herself and place in a world where there seems to be no easy choices. Even when she finds love she feels like an outsider in the relationship. Her very worthwhile career as a teacher is overshadowed by her partner’s artistic lifestyle and cool circle of friends.
If you enjoy films about intense relationships and heartbreak that won’t offer up easy to digest conclusions this could be the film for you. It’s worth noting that the sex scenes are explicitly graphic. Though if you’re looking for titillation perhaps you’re better off sourcing something off the net, this isn’t performance sex.
What neither my wife or I realised at the time is that Blue Is The Warmest Color is one of a growing number of French comic book adaptations. Originally published in 2010 and written by Julie Maroh the film joins Snowpiercer (all be it at the other end of the budget scale) in tracing it’s origins in France backwards from screen to page. In addition I recently reviewed the graphic novel I Am Legion which is also in development for a big screen adaptation.
So what’s the appeal? Well, comic book adaptations are fairly cost effective. The script and story boards already exist on page. In the case of Blue Is The Warmest Color language isn’t an issue, but even translating into English for wider market appeal isn’t that difficult. It seems that there’s a wealth of well written French comic books out there ready to be tapped into for the big screen, and so far, that’s a good thing.
Blue Is The Warmest Color is on limited release at cinemas now.