Blue Is the Warmest Color

Movie review by
Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media
Blue Is the Warmest Color Movie Poster Image
Heavy French drama with explicit sex, mature themes.
  • NC-17
  • 2013
  • 180 minutes
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 14+
Based on 10 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Be honest with yourself and your loved ones about who you are and what you need to be happy. Don't cheat on your lover and lie about it; you'll lose everything. Adele faces some pretty intense peer pressure and homophobia in high school that's never really resolved except by graduating and moving on.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Adele follows her heart and gives of herself freely to those she feels comfortable with, but she's always a bit too worried about what others think. She makes mistakes, some of which she hasn't fully recovered from by the end. Emma is an expressive artist, patient, faithful, and pushes Adele to find a creative outlet for herself. Friends are cliquish or snobby, and some high schoolers exhibit homophobia.

Violence

Verbal hostility about sexual orientation leads to a scuffle with pushing and shoving. A woman slaps another in the face.

Sex

Several extended, explicit sex scenes, with full female nudity and graphic representation of sex acts. One is heterosexual, all others are same-sex between two women. An erect penis is seen briefly in one sex scene. Full-frontal nudity including hairless female genitalia. Lots of kissing and making out, both clothed and nude. A dream sequence depicts masturbation. High schoolers talk a lot about "getting laid," who likes whom, how long to wait before having sex, and the like. Adults talk once or twice about different experiences of pleasure and mention orgasm. Brief discussion of having a period. 

Language

"F--k," "s--t," and variations frequently. Less frequent: "p---y," "ass," "asshole," "bastard," "bitch," "hell," "dyke," "lesbo," "slut," "crap," "ball-busting," and "whore."

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Teens and adults frequently have wine or beer with meals or in celebration. A few scenes take place in bars and nightclubs; drinking is shown along with some depiction of inhibitions relaxing. Many people, including the two main characters and teens in high school, smoke frequently.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Blue Is the Warmest Color is a French drama with English subtitles that chronicles a high school girl as she matures emotionally and sexually over about 10 years. It has very explicit sex with full nudity and graphic depictions of sex acts, mostly between two women, but one with a man also briefly shows an erect penis. As Adele falls for Emma, she encounters some homophobia at school, and it's not clear she's ever honest with her parents about their relationship. Aside from the sexual content, the appeal to teens is likely limited. The movie spends a lot of time on philosophical discussions, at first in the classroom and then among adult friends, using conversational dialogue to explore a host of issues that confront Adele as she learns who she is, and it does so for a solid three hours. Teens and adults often drink beer and wine with meals; excess is rarely shown. Lots of people smoke frequently, including the two main protagonists. Expect lots of profanity, with "f--k," "s--t," and variations used frequently.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byOmid O. April 7, 2017
Adult Written byShane T. November 25, 2017
Teen, 13 years old Written byAidan Kost July 9, 2017

A French, lesbian-romance tour-de-fource.

Everyone should experience this film. It contains excellent direction, cinematography, and acting. The two lead performances are extraordinary and worthy of all... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byPatriots2003 June 15, 2017

Sex!!

You should not watch this if you have kids

What's the story?

In BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR, Adele has had her share of heartbreak and frustration when it comes to high school romance. She becomes intrigued by a young woman with blue hair whom she sees around town. Adele finally tracks Emma down, and the two strike up a friendship that turns into something much more. Through her relationship with Emma, Adele matures in many ways. But the lesson that one mistake can cost you everything is one she'll have to learn the hard way.

Is it any good?

Director Abdellatif Kechiche gets amazing performances out of two young actresses and gives the viewer a lot to think about. The explicit sex certainly grabs the attention, but Blue Is the Warmest Color offers the adult viewer a great deal more to ponder. Teens, though, are unlikely to have the patience to sit through three hours of extended literature- and philosophy-class discussions or the equally extensive adult conversations along the same lines.

The title in French includes (in translation) "Chapters 1 and 2," suggesting there may be more chapters to come, which makes the excessive length less understandable. The lack of an ending, though, is much more understandable, if not less frustrating, once you know you've only seen the beginning of Adele's life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the graphic sex in Blue Is the Warmest Color. How much is OK for kids to see?

  • Does all the smoking make it seem glamorous or cool? Is it realistic? What are some of the dangers of smoking?

  • Notice the pressure Adele feels from her friends at school and later from Emma's art-school friends. How do they differ, if at all? How do you respond to peer pressure?

Movie details

Themes & Topics

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