OSCARS: Sundance Selects Ramps Up 'Blue Is The Warmest Color' Star's Best Actress Bid (Video)

At just 19 years old, new French acting sensation Adele Exarchopoulos became the youngest winner ever of the Cannesblue-is-the-warmest-color-movie Film Festival’s Palme d’Or when the jury — led by Steven Spielberg — made an unprecedented move this past spring. It awarded not only Blue Is The Warmest Color‘s director Abdellatif Kechiche the festival’s top prize as is the norm, but in a surprise move also its two extraordinary stars (Lea Seydoux rounded out the trio onstage at the Palais).  But then Blue Is The Warmest Color is no ordinary movie, and distributor Sundance Selects is hoping Oscar voters get the message too: Though not eligible to compete this year for Best Foreign Language Film due to its late release in France, it is eligible in other categories, and the distrib just crafted a new trailer focusing on Exarchopoulos that is aimed squarely at the Academy. Check it out:

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A three-hour study of the intense romance between a teenage girl and an older lesbian , the NC-17 film has caused waves wherever it’s played. But as Spielberg explained, the Cannes jury saw it only as simply a great love story. For Exarchopoulos, who recently turned 20, it was, and continues to be, a pretty heady experience as she explained when I recently interviewed her for the Screen Actors Guild Foundation. “It was my first Cannes Film Festival”, she told me. “We thought our reaction would be more divided, like some people hate and some people love it — but almost everyone liked it. After the ceremony it was like a dream. I mean you never realize what it’s like to win such a prize at 19. Yeah , it was cool.”

Related: Sundance Selects To Release ‘Blue Is The Warmest Color’ With NC-17 Rating

FRANCE-FILM-FESTIVAL-CANNESExarchopoulos also has a refreshing, unfiltered attitude toward acting — and in this case, those talked-about nude scenes. In fact she said although she knew her co-star by reputation (Seydoux is a huge star in France) she didn’t meet her until she was on the set for the first nude scene. “The first thing we did together is the sex scene, the dream scene, so when you meet someone naked it’s so different,” Exarchopoulos said. “We said hello and two minutes after we’re naked and we’re like, ‘OK, let’s do this’.  There is no hypocrisy and she doesn’t try to force things and try to be friends because of the shoot. Everything came naturally. She’s more experienced than me so I was feeling from her because she’s really good, and I was lucky to play with her. It really helps to introduce you naked. I mean you’re vulnerable, there is no chickening out. You’re just yourself and you have to make body language.”

Actually she says the food scenes were much more difficult than the sex scenes. For one of them — where she has to eatblue-warmest-color-pstr02 kabobs , heavy with sauce — Kechiche required numerous takes so Exarchopoulos says she would have to vomit and try again. “This is my trauma.  He makes you do so  many takes. Like up to 100 for a scene and he can spend up to a week, seven days on a single scene,” she says of the director’s hard-driving style that has been the stuff of controversy in interviews his stars have given in recent months. Despite that, Exarchopoulos says the role was to good to pass up. “I mean I got the chance of a lifetime — he’s a genius,” she said. “He makes cinema like no one else makes cinema. He’s taking risks like no one, but he’s passionate and he sacrifices everything for cinema. He takes many, many takes and he wants you to abandon yourself and sometimes it’s so hard to follow him. And yeah with every genius comes their own complexities. I think Hitchcock was not a nice guy. And Coppola. I don’t know about Coppola but I heard about making Apocalypse Now. I think all the geniuses have this kind of complexity, and they can be like an angel or a devil sometimes.”

After winning the Palme d’Or , Exarchopoulos has been chalking up a number of Breakthrough Actress Of The Year awards from various critics groups. She also was named Best Actress by the Los Angeles Film Critics (in a tie with Cate Blanchett) and has sparked Oscar buzz, thus Sundance Selects’ new trailer.

    1. Maybe, but it’s the acting that counts, and at the end of the day, Adele’s performance was one of the very best – if not THE best – performance of the year.

      1. Exactly! Oscar pundits who keep insisting the obvious “name actors” are the only ones who stand a chance make the whole process self-fulfilling.

        Academy members, please don’t be sheep and vote for who is shoved in your face. Vote for the best performances! Adele Exarchopoulos deserves the Oscar!

  1. Sure the Academy is deluged with cultish skits of recycled actors
    actresses,the art is waning out of hollywood because of agent
    domination sans talent and overexposure.At least Steven had the smarts to tag Blue Is The Warmest Colour for winning academy awards.Without this free theater style film,the academy presentations would be devoid of cinema art.Hurrah for Abdel Kechiche for having the testicle courage to free film a masterpiece
    sex exploitation film and make us swallow it without barfing.The
    lesbi-ans will undoubtedly pick at the sex as being hetereo
    domination but then as nietzche pointed out master/slave domination
    is existent in the monosexual world too.
    At least there is a piece of philosophical wisdom underlying the
    theme of older lez dominates naive teenager answering typical
    hetero doubts with a splash into being someone’s sex slave.Without
    this piece of cine philoart the academy presentations are devoid.
    Crazy aint it!Go see it with your kid sister/daughter,it’s a sign
    that nothing much has changed anyway you look.Adele deserves
    an Oscar for Best actress and her date Lea a resounding Best
    Supporting actress.Forget the recycles and go for the gold.

  2. Adele had one of the best performances i have ever seen- shes simply amazing. its like that you can connect with the character so easily.
    i sincerely hope this movie gets the prize which definitely deserves

  3. For me, Oscar is pop culture event. Nominated or not, Adele’s performance is golden standard no body can match so far.

  4. Adele’s performance is the best performance of the year hands down. She was only 18 at the time of filming and she completely blew me away. If she doesn’t get an Oscar nom, it would be a travesty, as the performance should go down in history as overwhelmingly brilliant and fearless acting.

  5. No matter how close the competition, she definitely deserves thr oscar more than anyone else! Cmon, she is only 19, not from an upper class or elitist family that is even slightly connected to the cinema / acting/ productio business. It is pure talent, hard earned reward for her work

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