Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Anatomy Of A Performance: Adele Exarchopoulos/Lea Seydoux in Blue is The Warmest Color (2013)

Hello, Bloggers, welcome to another episode of Anatomy Of A Performance, or in this case, Anatomy Of Performances, since I will be discussing two performances from the same film. Today, I will go into the performances given by Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux from one of the best films of last year, Blue Is The Warmest Color. 

Since she is the lead, I will first go into Exarchopoulos' performance. Now, her character named Adele is one that is on a journey of self-discovery. In particular, with her sexuality. One scene in which she demonstrates how she is unsure at first is one where her friends drill at her out of suspicion for being a lesbian.

Here is one of my favorite scenes in the film, if not my favorite. In this scene, the camera focuses mainly on Adele as well as her interrogative friends. Notice how as they keep asking her about going to a gay bar and a woman that picked her up at school, Lea Seydoux's character, she gets progressively more nervous as you can tell by her constant blinking and defensiveness. But as the final implosion occurs, where she fights with one of her friends, she goes from nervous to flustered and her reaction is pretty realistic, I would say. I may not have experienced this kind of thing, but this type of scenario is without a doubt plausible.

 Now, in this scene, I feel like it demonstrates Adele growing through a transition. At first, with all the music and commotion around her, Adele still keeps her composure. But once she starts bobbing her head to the beat, she then finally breaks out into dance. The way I see it, that scene shows how Adele is letting out a form of release. It feels like she fits in to the crowd she is in and that she is at peace with her inner being. She does that without having to utter a peep and that is my favorite type of acting. When the performer tells us what is running through their mind without dialogue having to aid them, it shows what special kind of acting can be accomplished without having to rely on crying hysterics.

Next, I'll go into Lea Seydoux's performance. Now, Seydoux's character named Emma, unlike Exarchopoulos', is much more of a spunky free-spirit. As she maintains the blue hair on her color, she becomes very mellow like the color blue. Hence the film's title. However, there is one point in the film where the blue is stripped from her hair and she is blonde. At that point, mellow would be the last thing to describe her, as evidence by this clip:

(*potential spoiler*) But this is the scene where they break up. As soon as we see Emma, she is waiting for Adele and seems flustered. Before Emma confronts her, when Adele gives her a kiss, you can definitely tell she is suspicious. But, as Emma herself starts to become interrogative of Adele about a man she was with, unlike the first clip shown where she showcases nerves, Adele bursts into tears. As this scene progresses, it feels like Emma is like a ticking time bomb or a grenade that is about to explode and like Adele, we are watching in absolute fear as Emma becomes physically angry.

Now, the scene below is the next time we see the two of them together, still separated. In this scene, Emma and Adele reflect on how much they still miss each other. Adele actually engages in a kiss with Emma, which to me, indicates how she is more in control with her sexuality. At first, she was unsure, then she became more at peace with herself, then went to being lost, to finally knowing what she wants. Yet she figured that out when it was too late and there is no chance to be with who she lost. It shows how her path to self-discovery has really taken its course and how we as audience members have been taken on this odyssey with her.

So, that was my analysis of the two lead female performances from the festival hit Blue Is The Warmest Color. If you liked what you read or would like to offer your own analysis of these performances, please feel free to write your thoughts in the comments section. Thanks for reading!

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