Graphic novel adaptation ‘Blue is the Warmest Color’ wins at Cannes


This post has been corrected, as indicated below.

The French drama “Blue is the Warmest Color” won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes on Sunday, making it the first graphic-novel adaptation to take the top award. Another comic-based film, Marjane Satrapi’s “Persepolis,” tied for the Cannes Jury Prize in 2007.

The Palme d’Or winner is based on “Le Bleu Est une Couleur Chaude” (“Blue is a Hot Color”), a graphic novel by Julie Maroh that was published in 2010 in France. The book is scheduled to be released in English this fall by Arsenal Pulp Press under the title “Blue Angel.”


“I have no words to describe the amplitude of what I’ve experienced for the past few hours, few days,” Maroh wrote on her website (in French). Maroh said that she had already seen the film twice, and would offer some words on it shortly. But her message, all told, was a simple one: “Make comic books. It’s cool.”

The nearly three-hour film, written and directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and starring Adele Exarchopulos and Lea Seydoux, tells the story of a 15-year old girl who falls in love with a woman. Due to its reportedly explicit depictions of lesbian sex, it has drawn a fair amount of controversy.

“I’m not sure it will be allowed to play in every state,” Steven Spielberg told journalists Sunday. Spielberg, in his capacity as Cannes jury president, had presented the award, heaping praise on the film and its director, calling it a “great love story.”

“Blue is the Warmest Color” has reportedly been acquired for U.S. distribution, though the date of its release here has not yet been announced.

[For the record, 9:52 p.m., May 27: An earlier version of this post misspelled Maroh’s name and has been corrected.]


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