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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 2.35:1 Widescreen
  • French DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • Theatrical trailer

Blue is the Warmest Color

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Abdellatif Kechiche
Starring: ,
2013 | 179 Minutes | Licensor: IFC Films

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $24.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #695
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

Release Date: February 25, 2014
Review Date: February 18, 2014

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SYNOPSIS

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 AdŤle Excharpoulos as a high schooler who, much to her own surprise, plunges into a thrilling relationship with a female twentysomething art student, played by Lťa 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.

Forum members rate this film 9/10

 

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PICTURE

After releasing a number of Dual-Format editions, Criterion releases Abdellatif Kechicheís Blue is the Warmest Color in a Blu-ray only edition. The 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer presents the film in its original aspect ratio of 2.35:1 on a dual-layer disc. Criterion has also released a separate DVD-only edition.

The film was shot in high-definition and that source was used as the basis for the transfer here. Since it never touched physical film there are no issues with film grain, damage, marks, etc. Banding is evident in in backgrounds at times, though Iím unsure if this is an issue with the transfer or something that would be inherent in the source. Other than that I couldnít detect any other artifacts.

Colours look good, delivering sharp reds and blues, and black levels are also fairly strong, though I felt some details get lost in the shadows, maybe another limitation of the technology. Detail is strong, with finer details right down to threading in clothing coming through clearly, but the picture has a rather flat look throughout, and itís either intentional or a product of the digital photography, Iím not entirely sure which.

There are a few minor issues, though Iím uncertain if they are caused by the cameras used to shoot the film, stylistic choices, or issues with the transfer. As it stands, the transfer probably presents the film as accurately as possible.

8/10

All Blu-ray screen captures come from the source disc and have been shrunk from 1920x1080 to 900x506 and slightly compressed to conserve space. While they are not exact representations they should offer a general idea of overall video quality.

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AUDIO

The film receives a DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track. Save for some background noises (like the wind rustling trees,) clubbing sequences, parades, and crowded areas, the audio track sticks primarily to the fronts. The filmís fairly quiet, more reflective, but thereís some decent surround work that creeps up, excellent use of bass, and dialogue, effects, and music come through crisply, with no distortion or background noise.

8/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Trying to get the film out there as quickly as possible to capitalize on its success, Criterion is releasing the film on home video right after its theatrical release. Because of this rush it appears Criterion hasnít finished up any supplements and is releasing the film on Blu-ray and DVD as separate movie-only editions. This may be disappointing for many but Criterion has stated they will release a Dual-Format special edition sometime in the future (there have been rumours that edition will include a different cut of the film, though I have not seen any confirmation on this so I would take it with many grains of salt.) This edition appears to be aimed more at (what remains of) the rental market, and to capitalize off of its award wins (unfortunately it was ineligible for an Oscar nomination.)

Criterion does include a few basics, though. They include the filmís American theatrical trailer along with a TV spot. They also include an insert with an essay by critic B. Ruby Rich, who addresses some of the controversies surrounding the film, but doesnít focus too much on this area as distracts people. She gives a decent analysis of the film and how it fits into Kechicheís other work.

Itís a shame there isnít more but at least Criterion forewarned that there was a special edition coming. Unfortunately that means anybody wanting supplements is going to have to wait. How long is anyoneís guess.

1/10

CLOSING

The presentation is fine, probably as true to the digital source as possible. The Blu-ray is nicely priced for a Criterion title, with an MSRP of only $24.95, meaning you could possibly get it on sale for less than $13. But again, those concerned about supplements may want to wait: Criterion has stated they plan on releasing a special edition in the future. This current edition is really only for those that arenít concerned about supplements or want to get their hands on the film as soon as possible, and in that case the low retail price makes it an easy recommendation for them.


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