La Vie d’Adèle – **1/2

Posted: November 4, 2013 in 2013, Coming Of Age, Drama, France, LGBT themed, Social Drama, XX1/2

I really don’t understand how all movie critics and the jury of this year’s Cannes film festival (presided by Steven Spielberg!) consider this the best movie of the year.

It’s an intriguing movie and the acting is SUPERB, but it’s nothing more than a coming of age story of a young girl who discovers her (homo)sexuality and encounters the first love of her life.

This is hyperrealism. Just like in La Graine Et Le Mullet, the Tunisian-French director Abdellatif Kechiche, films scenes like they really happen They look even more real than documentaries who are often edited and scripted in such a way that you don’t really get to see the real picture. Watching his movies however makes you realize how fake 98 percent of the movies really are. It’s very confronting.

Hyperrealism can be great. There’s a scene where the main character eats spaghetti Bolognese. It’s a silly scene and you can discuss the importance of it for the understanding of the movie and the character, but it’s right on! It’s acted, but it’s also exactly how people eat spaghetti. This may sound absurd, but other movie spaghetti scenes do not feel real compared to this one. And the movie is filled with scenes like that.

But the hyperrealism often results in superfluous boring artistic snobbery. The discussions about Schiele, Klimt, Sartre are incredibly annoying. Sure, it emphasizes  the differences between the main characters’ interests, but it’s BORING. And a fifth of the movie is art house porn. However ‘hyper real’ it may be, it still is porn. If you pay so much detail on showing people eat spaghetti, you should pay as much detail on showing people eat pussy. That’s the reasoning. But really. All that lesbian frolicking… If the movie would have shown explicit gay sex between two men, it would never have won an award. There’s a 10 min sex scene that is very honest, believable and real. But if feels like they are having a go at it for more than half an hour.  After a while, you just want to see their facial expressions and not their bums.

But the acting is incredible. Not so much of Lea Seydoux, but especially of Adele Exarchoupoulos, who’s in almost every single scene.  And it’s filmed in nearby Lille!

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