'Blue is the Warmest Color': Film With Racy Lesbian Sex Scenes Wins Palme d'Or At Cannes

If you want something that would make even those stoic, stern nuns who used to hit you with a ruler blush, chances are the French have already made it. And they are oh so good at it, too. With the temperatures rising, theaters will soon be packed with movie aficionados catching the latest summer blockbuster. Movie buffs and Hollywood elite have already started festivities off by attending the Cannes Film Festival. With Steven Spielberg heading the jury of film critics, most expected the Japanese film “Life Father, Like Son,” to be a clear winner because of it’s strong “Spielbergian” similarities. But tell that to the French, and they’ll probably reply with a haughty “non.” And that may have some merit to it, with a racy French film titled “Blue is the Warmest Color” emerging as the winner of the coveted Palme d'Or.

The film, directed by Arab-Frenchman Abdellatif Kechiche, follows a young girl named Adèle as she explores her sexuality through her first great romance with older woman, Emma. While the French are known for their casual nudity and vivid sex scenes, even some French attendees are finding the scenes to be more more than they’re used to. Reviews posted by American critics have already suggested that the sex scenes be tailored down to less voyeuristic lengths so as not to unnerve the American audience. The problem doesn’t seem to be the relationship between the two women (a problem I doubt a large group of film critics would have, actually), but the duration and frequency of the sex scenes throughout the movie.

The sex scenes are described by film critic Andrew O’Hehir as being “athletic and indeed gymnastic fashion that leave nothing to the imagination, and that blur any possible boundaries between simulated movie-sex and the real thing.”

While it may be uncomfortable to watch at times, O’Hehir defends the film by focusing on how it is “alive with color and characters and life, which is both social and personal, universal and specific… It’s perhaps the first great love story of the 21st century that feels completely of the moment.”

While America may have to wait to see if the film is released on DVD, it seems that Abdellatif Kechiche has good reason to celebrate the success of his film.