Blue is the Warmest Colour, a French drama about a lesbian love affair, took home the top prize at the Cannes Film Festival Sunday, marking the first time that a movie based on a comic book has won the prestigious Palme d'Or. Written and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche, the film stars Adèle Exarchopoulos as a 15-year-old girl who falls in love with a woman named Emma, played by Léa Seydoux. The film has received largely glowing reviews from critics, as well as a fair bit of controversy, due to its reportedly explicit sex scenes.
The nearly three-hour movie is based on Julie Maroh's Le Bleu est une couleur chaude ("Blue is a hot color"), a 2010 graphic novel slated for US release later this year. Marjane Satrapi's Persepolis won the Jury Prize in 2007, though no comic adaptation had ever taken home the festival's top prize until this year. In a message posted to her website, Maroh thanked her fans for all the messages of support, joy, and love she received following Sunday's awards ceremony. The author-illustrator added that she's seen the film twice already, and promised to publish a formal reaction to it within the week.
"Words cannot describe the amplitude of what I've experienced for the past few hours, few days," Maroh wrote in her post, which she signed with a simple message: "Make comic books. It's cool."
"We were absolutely spellbound."
Blue is the Warmest Colour is scheduled to hit theaters in France on October 9th, where it will be released under its original title La vie d'Adèle ("The life of Adèle"). As Variety reports, IFC’s Sundance Selects has already acquired the movie for US distribution, though its release date remains unknown. Equally unclear is whether the film's graphic sex scenes will be edited for US theaters.
"I’m not sure it will be allowed to play in every state," Cannes Jury President Steven Spielberg told reporters Sunday. Spielberg went on to heap praise upon Kechiche and his film, describing it as "a great love story that made all of us feel privileged to be a fly on the wall, to see this story of deep love and deep heartbreak evolve from the beginning."
"The director didn’t put any constraints on the narrative," Spielberg added. "He let the scenes play in real life, and we were absolutely spellbound."