Starring: Juliette Binoche Directed by: Krzysztof Kieslowski

I watched Blue at the recommendation of my friend Daniel Ferreiro, who guaranteed I would love it. Still, I approached this movie with some hesitation as he and I do not always see eye-to-eye on films.

I can say that the movie was artfully made, with nice symbolic devices – the blue tint to the lighting in many scenes, the ‘fugue states’ the main character has throughout. However, I found much of the movie dreadfully boring.  Very little happens throughout the first hour of the film, which made roughly 90 minute feel like so much longer.

Within the first ten minutes, a single-car accident kills the husband and young daughter of Julie (Juliette Binoche) as they travel to an event. Waking up in the hospital, Julie is listless and despondent.  She attempts to distract a nurse and overdose on pills from the pharmacy, but cannot get the pills down.  As she sits staring off into the distance, a female reporter bothers her for an interview, asking if Julie is truly the composer of her late husband’s celebrated pieces – as rumored.

As the servants and family friend Oliver (Benoît Régent) help clear out the house, Oliver finds a file folder with pictures of the composer and an unknown woman in an embrace.  He doesn’t show Julie these photos.

Julie has the house cleared out of furniture and leaves the house behind to be sold as she cuts herself off from the world, destroying the manuscript with her husband’s last composition – designed to be played only once for the European Unification ceremony.  Taking very few belongings – most importantly a chandelier made of blue crystals – she finds an apartment in Paris and attempts to cut herself off from the rest of the world.

And then for an hour, Julie wanders through life – swimming, making friends with an exotic dancer who lives in the same apartment building, visiting her senile mother, sitting in cafes…doing little to nothing.  From time to time, she fades out of the world surrounding her, lost in the composition her husband had been writing.

Finally, everything starts falling into place in the last half hour.  The mystery of the composer, the mistress…all is answered.  In about a span of 15 minutes.

If you:

  • Have patience.
  • Like hearing French spoken.
  • Like art films

Put it in the queue!

However, if you

  • Are more interested in the journey of unraveling a mystery than the actual discoveries themselves
  • Are creeped out by mice (there are a few scenes revolving around a large mouse that made its nest and gave birth in her closet)
  • Have no patience

Don’t put it in the queue.

Written by: Jennifer Venson