Edited neither for content nor length, the three-hour French romance Blue Is The Warmest Color arrives stateside fully intact, in all its sexually explicit glory. That's a smart, gutsy move on the part of U.S. distributor Sundance Selects: Though the dependably prudish MPAA has slapped the film with an NC-17, much of the buzz surrounding it centers on those insanely erotic lesbian love scenes—impressive not just for their frankness and duration, but also the passion of their participants.
Expressive newcomer Adèle Exarchopoulos plays a suburban teen who falls, with just a single sidelong glance, under the sway of a blue-haired seductress (Léa Seydoux, who's maybe best known to American audiences as the near-mute French assassin in Mission: Impossible—Ghost Protocol). The two actresses are really the whole show here, a fact acknowledged by Steven Spielberg and the rest of the 2013 Cannes jury when they handed the Palme D'Or not just to Blue's director, Abdellatif Kechiche, but also to its brave young starlets. While the above trailer disguises the languid pace and includes few glimpses of beneath-the-sheets action, it does a fine job of conveying the movie's sheer emotional intensity. Also, there are worse marketing strategies than stringing together a bunch of close-ups of Léa Seydoux.