15-year-old Adèle (a spine-tingling performance from Adèle Exarchopoulos) feels like an average teenager, with school, friends, parents and boys taking up most of her time and thoughts. That is until a chance encounter with a beguiling blue-haired girl (a luminescent Léa Seydoux) turns her world upside down, forcing her to question her desires and assert herself as a woman and as an adult. Jaw-droppingly frank in its sexual content, mesmerisingly beautiful as an artistic accomplishment and utterly compelling from start to finish, this is gripping, engrossing cinema in its rawest, purest form.
The winner of the Palme d'Or at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, Abdellatif Kechiche's stunning portrait of a relationship is a remarkable achievement. Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux's committed performances brilliantly convey the power of physical, emotional and sexual attraction, but also communicate the problems of sustaining a relationship when passion gives way to domestication. Detailed in its portrayal yet exploring emotions and situations universal to us all, this is a towering achievement in cinema.