• James Rutherford

'Blue': A Mesmerizing Depiction of Grief, Isolation and Arduous Self-Discovery from France


Movie poster for the French film Blue starring Juliet Binoche

"Blue" ("Trois Couleurs: Bleu") (1993) is a deeply emotive French drama starring Juliet Binoche as Julie, a woman beset by overwhelming grief after an automobile accident claims the lives of her husband and young daughter. Profoundly committed to her deceased loved ones, Julie struggles to accept their passing while finding herself entirely mystified by her newfound solitude.


The soul survivor of a devastating crash on a rural country road, Julie comes to face alien landscape devoid of the two souls that bound her to any sense of normalcy or reality. Curiously withdrawn, she begins to sever all remaining ties to her previous life—selling her home and destroying the unfinished score she helped to craft with her composer husband. Only after identifying a winsome young woman named Sandrine (Florence Pernel) as her husband's former lover does Julie set herself on a surprising path of discovery and reclamation.


Co-written and directed by Polish filmmaker Krzysztof Kieślowski ("The Decalogue", "The Double Life of Veronique"), "Blue" is the first of the three films that comprise his celebrated "Three Colors" trilogy. Each representing a color of the French flag and the political ideals they represent, Kieślowski employs "Blue" as a vessel for his exploration of human liberty, albeit in a starkly harrowing manner. Despite its darkest of undertones, however, the film succeeds tremendously as a deeply resonant and profoundly affecting depiction of grief, undue emancipation and ultimately newfound self-actualization.

 

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