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Blue (Three Colors Trilogy)
Three Colors Trilogy
Actors: Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Ryszard Dembinski, Jerzy Fedorowicz
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
R     2003     1hr 38min

Praised as one of the top films of the year by critics and audiences alike, this stylish and provocative mystery delivers captivating performances and stunning imagery! Academy Award(R)-winner Juliette Binoche (Best Suppor...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Juliette Binoche, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Julie Delpy, Ryszard Dembinski, Jerzy Fedorowicz
Director: Krzysztof Kieslowski
Creators: Lechoslaw Trzesowski, Krzysztof Kieslowski, Marin Karmitz, Agnieszka Holland, Edward Zebrowski, Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Slawomir Idziak
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama, Animation
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Love & Romance, Animation
Studio: Miramax
Format: DVD - Color,Anamorphic - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/04/2003
Original Release Date: 01/01/1993
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1993
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 38min
Screens: Color,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: French
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Blue Can Be Beautiful
David Montgomery | | 05/25/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

""Blue" is the first film in Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Three Colors" trilogy that examines life in contemporary European society. Each of the three films corresponds to a color in the French flag and a segment of the French national motto. They are "Blue" (liberté), "White" (egalité) and "Red" (fraternité).The theme of liberty runs throughout "Blue," but it is a cruel, unwelcome liberty. The husband and daughter of Julie (Juliet Binoche), a young French woman, are killed in a car accident at the beginning of the film. She, of course, is devastated. She briefly considers suicide, but is unable to go through with it. That would take an intensity of emotion-grief, loss, despair, something-that she simply does not have. She is so cold inside that she can feel nothing at all, not even sadness. (Blue, after all, is the coldest color of the spectrum.) In one telling scene, Julie comes upon her housekeeper who is weeping profusely. "Why are you crying?," she asks her. "I am crying," the maid replies, "because you are not."Julie decides that her only course of action is to free herself completely from her past. She sells her house and all of her possessions and moves to an apartment in Paris where she knows no one and no one knows her. The only thing she keeps is her daughter's blue bead lamp, a colorful focal point in her drab, spartan quarters, and the only reminder of her lost life.Before she can leave, though, Julie must give herself one final test. She seduces Olivier (Benoit Regent), a rather dull former colleague of her husband's who, not incidentally, is in love with her. They make love on a solitary mattress in her empty house, but she feels nothing. Perhaps she really is incapable of love. Having confirmed her suspicion, she walks away without even a backward glance.Julie's disappearance, however, is difficult. Her late husband was a famous composer and they both remain the subject of media interest and gossip. It is rumored that Julie actually wrote his music herself, and it is true that the sounds of his last, unfinished work haunt her throughout the film. No matter where she goes, she cannot escape his (or is it her?) music because it lives within her mind and her soul. Occasionally the action is stopped completely and the screen fades to black, accompanied by the fortissimo sounds of his last, farewell concerto. It is an interesting, risky device, but it works well in conveying the dislocation, the sense of forever being apart from others, that Julie feels.In the most interesting twist in the film, Julie meets her late husband's mistress, Sandrine, (Florence Pernel), a woman she did not even know existed. Sandrine is pregnant with his baby, a shocking revelation, but Julie does not hate her for it. Rather, she is remarkably generous and kind, just as he had always promised Sandrine she was. All Julie wants to know is, "Did he love you?" She answers her own question, though, when she spots the cross hanging from Sandrine's neck, the same beloved gift her husband gave to her.Kieslowski takes his time in telling his story. Things do not happen quickly, nor are events momentous when they occur. The pacing is slow and languorous, but certainly never boring. Unlike most movies made today, this is a quiet, subtle film. Kieslowski and his cinematographer do a lot with the lighting, particularly in the scenes in the swimming pool. Those shots are awash in soft, evocative blue hues that give the scenes an exquisite, dream-like feel.The performances by all of the leads are splendid. Juliette Binoche is truly a marvelous actress. She was so good in Godard's "Hail Mary" and Malle's "Damage," and she is even better here. Her character does not say much, nor does she take much dramatic action. Most of what we learn about her comes from staring into her sad eyes and regarding her troubled face. She is able to convey so much, not with broad strokes or grand gestures, but with intricate nuances and careful expressions. It is a performance to treasure.As I watched "Blue," I was reminded of another excellent French production, "Un Coeur en Hiver," that also dealt with painful music and the tragedy of a cold, unfeeling heart. The similarities are subtle, but I think both of these films demonstrate one quality sorely lacking in most Hollywood pictures: maturity. The average major studio release is targeted at the core demographic of 14 to 24 year old males, not exactly the most discerning audience around. This strategy results in a lot of dreadful films being made. Fortunately for those of us with a more highly developed aesthetic sense, there are films like "Blue" around to satisfy our longings."
A brilliant shade of "Blue"
David Montgomery | 09/02/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Director Krzysztof Kieslowski's "Blue" is the first of a trilogy of films which take their title from the colors of the french flag (blue, white, and red) and their theme from the French motto of "liberty, equality, fraternity." In this achingly beautiful interpretation, liberty comes as the result of loss. The film opens in a shroud of bluish fog, as Julie (Juliette Binoche), her husband Patrice and their young daughter are on a car trip. Because of the fog, the Alfa Romeo continues to go straight when the road curves, and the car collides with a tree. Only Julie survives. Although her bandages and bruises disappear rather quickly, Julie's emotions take much longer to heal. The rest of the movie is an eloquent, moving look at how she deals with the aftermath of her loss, from the seemingly trivial annoyance of finding mice in her new apartment to the discovery that her husband had kept a mistress for years.She tries to repress her emotions by freeing herself from her past: she sells the contents of her country estate and moves to a small apartment in a section of Paris where no one knows her, signing the lease with her maiden name. All she brings with her, besides books and clothes, is a chandelier of dripping blue crystals, a prism which refracts the past. As one would guess from the title, the color blue washes over this movie, tinting it with melancholy. But more striking than the film's use of color is its music. Patrice was a famous composer who was writing a concerto to celebrate the unification of Europe at the time of his death. Although Julie destroys his notes after his death, his secretary had made a copy and sent it to his partner, Olivier (Benoit Regent), who is now working to complete the unfinished symphony. Throughout the movie, whenever Julie's emotions well up within her, strains of the concerto flood the movie -- the screen goes black so the viewer, too, focuses only on the music, which seems to express at once both the anguish and release that Julie feels.Through Kieslowski's cinematography and Binoche's subtle facial expressions, the viewer is immersed in the understated emotion of the film -- an immersion that does not end when the credits roll, for the film leaves a few issues unresolved that make it, like its main character, such a captivating enigma. END"
Kieslowski's "Blue" period
E. A Solinas | MD USA | 02/07/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blue is the color of sadness and depression. And "Blue" ("Bleu") is the first film in the celebrated Colors trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski. Accompanying the rich "Red" ("Rouge") and sharp "White" ("Blanc"), this is a beautiful and haunting look at grief and getting past it.Julie de Courcy (Juliette Binoche) and her family are in a car accident when their brakes fail. Julie is injured, but her composer husband and their daughter die. She can't bring herself to commit suicide, but neither can she just go home and get over it. So instead she leaves her palatial house in the country after a night with her husband's old friend Olivier (Benoît Régent), who has been in love with her for years.Julie arrives in Paris with nothing but a blue cut-glass lampshade, takes back her maiden name, rents an apartment, and tries to leave her old life behind. Though she says she doesn't want love or friends (because they are "traps"), she befriends a promiscuous young woman and is pulled back to Olivier when he starts to finish her husband's unfinished work. In turn, Olivier reveals to her the side of her husband she never knew -- the other woman he loved.The Colors trilogy is based on the colors of the French flag: Blue, white and red, standing respectively for liberty, equality, and fraternity. In this, Julie is unconsciously seeking liberty from her past life and her grief. This grief is shown beyond mere tears and unhappiness. She rakes her knuckles over a rough wall, rips off a strand off the hanging lampshade, as little ways of showing her inner turmoil. At the same time, the revelations about Julie's husband raises questions about their marriage and about Julie herself. The powerful music celebrating the EU pops up periodically, often when Julie experiences strong emotion. At times, the screen goes dark, and the overwhelming, soaring symphony is all you can detect. And as Kieslowski does in "White" and "Red," this film is sprinkled with color and symbolism. Blue crops up in little dancing bars of light on Julie's face, in her clothing, a swimming pool, in rain-slicked windows, a misty blue morning and a lollipop.This may be Binoche's best performance. Her expressive eyes and subtle facial expressions convey every tormented or peaceful emotion that Julie feels. One of the best shots in the entire movie is the final one, in which we see Julie, unhappy and tearful, slowly starting to smile. (She also is shown weeping underwater, something I've never seen before) Régent seems rather colorless beside Binoche's reverberating performance, but his quiet, sweet Olivier is an underrated character.A harrowing, beautiful and ultimately romantic film, "Blue" brims over with pathos and beautiful direction. A true piece of cinematic art."
Three Colors Blue A Masterpiece
RFD | Albany, NY | 04/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Blue is the first part of the Three Colors trilogy which I believe will be regonized as the finest cinema event of the 1990's. Blue is the most remote of the three pictures in that it deals with the loss of loved ones, and the isolation it brings.To be totally free is to lose your identity. Kieslowski was wise to cast Juliette Binoche in the role, for no actor today can convey such feeling and intensity with such subtlety.She posesses the greatest pair of eyes in cinema. This film could be silent, and you would understand what this character is going through. I agree that you may have to be in the right frame of mind to see this film, and Red may be the warmer, friendlier movie, but I found Blue to be totally devastating, and to truly appreciate the other two films, you must see this one first.Caveat: Miramax released this film in standard format, and all the films need widescreen format to be truly appreciated. Hold out for the DVD. In fact, look up Miramax's home page and demand it!"