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Blue is the Warmest Color aka La vie d'Adèle - Chapitres 1 et 2 [Blu-ray]
(Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
Review by Gary Tooze
Theatrical: Quat'sous Films
Video: Criterion Collection Spine #695 / Artificial Eye
Region: 'A' / Region 'B' (as verified by the Oppo Blu-ray player)
Runtime: 3:00:08.422 / 2:59:46.984
Disc Size: 47,113,026,841 bytes / 41,005,232,563 bytes
Feature Size: 46,512,893,952 bytes / 37,226,228,352 bytes
Video Bitrate: 28.74 Mbps / 20.02 Mbps
Chapters: 23 / 12
Case: Standard Blu-ray case (s)
Release date: February 25th, 2014 / March 17th, 2014
Aspect ratio: 2.35:1
Resolution: 1080p / 23.976 fps
Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video
DTS-HD Master Audio French 3924 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3924 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
LPCM Audio French 2304 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 2304 kbps / 24-bit
English (SDH), none
• Trailer (1:37) and TV spot (:18)
• Interview with Abdellatif Kechiche (9:03)
• Interview with Adèle Exarchopoulos (7:34)
• Deleted Scenes (8:13)
• Theatrical Trailer (1:53)
Description: The colorful, electrifying romance that took the Cannes Film Festival by storm courageously dives into a young woman’s experiences of first love and sexual awakening. Blue Is the Warmest Color stars the remarkable newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos as a high schooler who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twentysomething art student, played by Léa Seydoux. Directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, this finely detailed, intimate epic sensitively renders the erotic abandon of youth. It has captivated international audiences and been widely embraced as a defining love story for the new century.
A 15-year-old finds her naïve perceptions of human sexuality challenged upon meeting a blue-haired student who encourages her to assert her individuality in director Abdel Kechiche's deeply perceptive drama. Adèle (Adèle Exarchopoulos) is in the midst of a sexual awakening when a handsome male classmate strives to catch her attention. Meanwhile, Adèle's daydreams keep drifting back to Emma (Léa Seydoux), a worldly art student she ran into on the street. Later, when Adèle and Emma forge an actual connection, the uncertain younger teen discovers a side of herself that she's never known, becoming increasingly comfortable in her own skin despite the reactions of her close-minded classmates. Blue Is the Warmest Color was the recipient of the prestigious Palme d' Or at the 66th Annual Cannes Film Festival.Excerpt from MRQE located HERE
Adele Exarchopoulos delivers an extraordinary performance that is
utterly mesmerising to watch, her every thought and emotion clearly
visible on her achingly expressive face. She also has palpable chemistry
with Lea Seydoux and the intensity of their passion is powerfully
conveyed within the film's lengthy, visceral sex scenes (the exhausting
central sequence is around six minutes long), which, though explicit,
are never exploitative.
Image : NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were taken directly from the Blu-ray disc.
Blue is the Warmest Color was shot in HD and, predictably, looks excellent on Blu-ray from Criterion (Director approved!). The 1080P image is dynamically sharp with brilliant detail, true colors and tons of depth. This is dual-layered with a, reasonably, high bitrate for the 3-hour film. We can guess that it is a solid representation of the film. We may compare to the upcoming AE Blu-ray but this image is flawless exporting some of the most pristine screen captures we have produced in a while. It is in the original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and contrast is impressively layered and there is no noise whatsoever. I doubt any of the other HD transfer will advance upon this - Criterion have almost no extras and the massive Blu-ray file size is dedicated to the feature.
The Artificial Eye transfer is a bit brighter (see by our 4 comparative captures). It is a very strong technical transfer (also dual-layered) but not at Criterion's lofty heights. I suspect that few would quibble with any differences. Still a stunningly attractive film in 1080P.
CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION
What a cool cornicopia of music in Blue is the Warmest Color, performed by such artists as Klaim, Sporto Kantes, HK & Les Saltimbanks, El Timba and many others I don't think I have ever heard of previously! It all sounds very clean and deep via the lossless transfer. From a Huffington Post article HERE: "The music, On lâche rien ("We will never give up!"), by the Algerian-born Kaddour Haddadi, is the official song of the French Communist Party. Yet, soon after she begins her relationship with Emma, we see Adèle protesting again, hip-to-hip with her new lover, at a gay pride parade. On lâche rien has been switched out for the club hit, I Follow Rivers, by the Swedish pop star Lykke Li. All around Adèle swim white, bourgeois, homosexual couples. What was once political is now just a party". There are optional English subtitles and my Oppo has identified it as being a region 'A' disc.
My ears can't detect any difference in the 5.1 uncompressed at over 3000 Kbps in original French. Artificial Eye add a linear PCM in 2.0 channel. One of the bigger points of contention for some may be that the UK disc has burned-in English subtitles (samples below).
Criterion, unusually, don't offer much - only a 1.5 minute trailer and 18-second TV Spot but they include a linear notes booklet with an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich. Note: As Gregory tells us in email :"I think that it's important to note that Criterion announced a forthcoming special edition of this film in the future, so those wishing for a full-stacked disc are warned."
We know that Criterion will be coming out with another edition - with supplements but the Artificial Eye has a few of their own. Although fairly standard, these are decent extras - we get a 10-minute interview with director Abdellatif Kechiche about the production an 7.5-minutes with the star Adèle Exarchopoulos about her character and performance. There are also 8-minutes of deleted scenes and a theatrical trailer.
Criterion - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
Artificial Eye - Region 'B' - Blu-ray
AE doesn't have the budget that Criterion does and this is a solid release for region 'B'-locked audiences. I enjoyed this as much in my second viewing as my first. Don't miss this one!
January 29th, 2014
March 10th, 2014
About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 9500 DVDs and have reviewed over 5000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.
Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who
focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I
find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction.
Oppo Digital BDP-83 Universal Region FREE Blu-ray/SACD
Gary W. Tooze
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