Blue | Chicago Reader

Blue

Part one (1993) of a loosely connected trilogy by Krzysztof Kieslowski related to the colors of and abstract qualities associated with the French flag—in this case liberty—this is a tale of a woman (Juliette Binoche) reassembling and reinventing her life in Paris after her composer husband and daughter die in an auto accident. Working with his regular writing collaborator Krzysztof Piesiewicz, Kieslowski had become a master at conveying raw emotional states with a pristine economy of means; as the dialogue here is all in subtitled French, which he barely knew, these means have little to do with language. He was less adept in working out a dreamy allegory about European unification. (An unfinished concerto left by the heroine's husband that she and a colleague eventually decide to complete is meant to be played in all the EU capitals at once.) But the film's grasp of the fluctuations of moment-to-moment experience, including consciousness itself, is extraordinary, and Binoche's powerful performance never falters. In French with subtitles.

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