There’s a first time for everything. At a Cannes showing of Blue Is the Warmest Color, a three-hour French drama about a young woman who falls into a romance that digs its hooks in and won’t let go of her, the audience sat raptly as Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos), a quietly precocious 17-year-old Paris high school girl, goes to bed with Emma (Léa Seydoux), the painter and Fine Arts graduate student she met at a lesbian bar. It’s Adèle’s first experience with another woman — but ever since the late ’70s, there have been plenty of lesbian-awakening dramas, most of them on the soft and dewy side. In this case, when the sex scene was over, after what felt like it must have been 15 minutes of writhing, moaning erotic hunger, people in the audience burst into whoops of approval and applause — something I have never in my life seen happen after a sex scene. It’s not so much that the audience was being cute, attempting to acknowledge that the scene was “hot” (although yes, it seriously was). What they were applauding was the authenticity: the fact that the heat was real, and thus the heat had become the drama. Very Last Tango, except minus the perversity. READ FULL STORY
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