Three Colors: Blue (1993)

three colors blue poster 1993 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Binoche, great visuals


Movie Info

Movie Name: Three Colors:  Blue

Studio: MK2 Productions

Genre(s): Drama

Release Date(s):  September 3, 1993 (Telluride Film Festival)/September 8, 1993 (France)

MPAA Rating: R

three colors blue car accident

Tragedy strikes

A tragic accident takes the life of a famed composer and his daughter while leaving his wife Julie (Juliette Binoche) a survivor.  Attempting to forget her past life, Julie gets rid of her possessions and moves from the countryside to Paris to try to build a new life.  With a new apartment, a new name, and little to remember her family by, Julie discovers that forgetting the past isn’t as important as claiming it for herself.

Written and directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, Three Colors:  Blue (Bleu or Trois couleurs: Bleu) is a French drama.  The film is considered part one of the Three Colors Trilogy which followed with White (1994) and Red (1994) which represent the colors of the French flag and the French Revolution theme of liberty.  The film premiered at Telluride and received critical acclaim.  The Criterion Collection released a remastered version of the film (Criterion #588) as part of a Three Colors boxset (Criterion #587).

three colors blue juliette binoche mobile

…and fight through it

I remember the buzz surrounding Three Colors, and it was around the time I started to really dive into movies.  Ebert selected the series as one of his top films of the year, but I never got around to renting it (in the days when VHS was the only option).  I finally saw White in college, but I knew it was generally considered the weakest of the three films.  Finally sitting down and watching Blue, I can see why it is considered one of the best films of the 1990s.

The story is about mourning, trying to forget, and realizing you control your life, but your past is part of it regardless how hard you try to forget.  Binoche’s character refuses to mourn.  It is better to be static…not moving forward and not moving backward.  She begins to discover things about her life that she’s trying to forget and starts to connect with people despite her actions.  She reclaims herself and finishes the music (which in turn draws everyone together).

Binoche is great as the mourning mother who refuses to grieve.  Despite not outwardly weeping through the movie, you can see her pain in her eyes and actions.  She nails the performance and gets the tone right.  She has a nice supporting cast with people like Charlotte Véry who decides to befriend Julie, and Emmanuelle Riva who plays Julie’s ailing mother.  I also like the confrontation with her husband’s mistress played by Florence Pernel who also does great in her small role.

three colors blue juliette binoche swimming

Bathed in blue

The movie also looks great.  Blue is the theme and the movie oozes blue tones.  Be it Binoche’s obsession with her child’s old mobile or the pool in which she swims laps as a way to exercise her demons.  The blue theme fits with the depression and the mood which hangs over the movie.

Blue is a great start to the Three Colors Trilogy.  The movie is inspired, looks fantastic, and has a great performance from its lead.  The story is universal and debatable (is she being a bad person because she doesn’t mourn like everyone else and lashes out at those who help her?)  Julie might come off as cold, but she has her reasons to not trust people and the only people she trusts end up betraying her multiple times through the movie and seemingly before.  Kieslowski followed Blue with White in 1994.

Related Links:

Three Colors:  White (1994)

Three Colors:  Red (1994)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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