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Betty Blue (Subtitled) (DVD) [1986] - £4.97

Sex and sunlight are on ample display in Betty Blue, director Jean-Jacques Beineix's passionate look at mad love. (Every French director is contractually required to make at least one movie about l'amour fou.)

It begins at the seashore, where handyman and failed novelist Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade) has his life electrified by Betty, a woman whose sense of abandon frequently tips over into the pathological. This was the role that introduced gap-toothed, voluptuous Beatrice Dalle to the world, and neither Dalle nor the world has ever quite recovered. Traces of Beineix's precious Diva are still present, though this is a darker and more memorable ride, especially in the three-hour "version integrale" that restores an hour of footage. Its copious nude scenes are a drawing card, but stick around for the age-old alchemy of life translated into art. Gabriel Yared's score is a favourite of movie-soundtrack mavens, especially its haunting piano theme.-- Robert Horton

Customer reviews (av rating: 5.0):

Rating: 5:
A must watch for the film afficionado. : 37.2 Le Matin(Betty Blue) is a brilliant piece of work. Jean-Huhues Anglades' natural performance as Zorg in this easy going - take life as it comes story line makes you want to see more of him. To see someone you love violently erode away is painful and Robins' beautiful camera work with the slow tracking makes the visual experience stimulating. The slow pace of this tale of love and friendship is no cause of concern. Very French, the nudity is handled beautifully. The subtle use of the color yellow is interesting. The film makes you want to be free to live a life of impulse and simplicity. A must watch for the film aficionado.

Rating: 5:
A modern classic - stunning : If I could give this film 6 stars, I would have.

This is a beautiful, haunting piece that has deservedly become a classic. The almost unbearable delay to its DVD release no doubt added to its mystique and cult status (along with that wonderful poster), but regardless, it is quite simply wonderful.

21 years since it's original release, it remains one of the very few examples of a film being as good as the novel - in fact, it's possibly even better.

Impeccably acted, with a wonderful script and haunting camera work, somehow it manages to exemplify the eighties while retaining a timeless quality. Beatrice Dalle is simply stunning - not just in her beauty but in the way she obssesses and seduces both the lead male character and the viewer.

It's almost a shame that she won this role so early in her career as she has never bettered it - and will probably never be able to. She therefore remains a very under-rated actress.

Essential viewing for any lover of French cinema - essential viewing in fact for any lover of quality cinema.

Buy it - you won't be disappointed, but you may be a little bit haunted ...

Rating: 5:
Aaah, Betty : I adore this film, and watch it again and again and again...
It is compelling, if not compulsive, viewing.
It is beautiful, powerful, sensitive, moving and totally addictive.
It is quite possibly the best film that has ever been made.
It is...Betty Blue...a classic...a one off...incomparable...unequalled...perfect in every way!

Rating: 5:
C'est le vent, Betty... : A moody, romantic, whimsical film, undoubtedly more than the sum of its parts with convincing and gritty performances, beautiful cinematography, and a soundtrack that literally speaks for itself. Sometimes the film is a little overwraught, but then so are Betty and Zorg, caught up as they are in Betty's terrible instabilities. Watch it and you'll just want to watch it again - there's just too much to enjoy/appreciate for one viewing.

I'd recommend getting the soundtrack too - I'm not a big soundtrack fan, but this really is a great production, very atmospheric, perfect on a summer's day with all thw windows open wide.

Rating: 5:
A masterpiece of French film. : BETTY BLUE (or 37º2 LE MATIN, to give it its original French title) is a film based on a book by Philippe Dijan, and centres around Zorg (Jean-Hugues Anglade), a 30-year-old painter and plumber who has written a novel that keeps being refused by publishers. His girlfriend is the titular Betty (a very good start for Béatrice Dalle), a 19-year-old beauty who has a penchant for becoming unpredictable in her behaviour to the point where she could literally be throwing the toys out of the pram.

Zorg has an argument with his boss, which Betty takes very badly and makes our young couple leave the area to try and get Zorg's book published in the big city. However, the refusals from publishers continue, and this causes our wildcat Betty to fly off the handle in her own inimitable way, but her mood swings and rage become an increasing concern for Zorg, and might lead to disastrous consequences. How can their relationship possibly survive?

I've not read the original book, but nothing can alter the fact that this is a highly accomplished example of French cinema at its best, directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix. Each shot is beautifully coloured, with clever uses of blues and yellows in particular. Anglade and Dalle are fantastic to watch, with very believable performances from the pair of them, and you wonder what could have happened to Dalle had she not had the occasional moments similar to her Betty character in real life (one altercation with the law reportedly denied her the ability to get a US visa to get a role on THE SIXTH SENSE). Dalle in particular really sets the screen alight with her beautiful smile and alluring performance.

There is a fair bit of sex and nudity in this film. In fact, the very moment that the opening credits end you're in a sex scene! You also see a lot of shots of full-frontal nudity from both of the principal performers, and the most prudish might be a bit annoyed about the number of times Anglade walks around naked with, ahem, everything on show. But in all fairness this is a different culture, and the whole film certainly doesn't come off as gratuitous when there's so much else to marvel at. Yes, the film is almost three hours long, but it's not really a drag at all (and nobody says you have to watch the whole thing at once on DVD).

The music plays an integral part in the film, especially from the moment that the two end up in a piano store and play a tune together, which resurfaces in later key parts of the film. Gabriel Yared composed the score.

Given Betty's problems, you might think that the film's all doom and gloom when she goes into one of her rages, but in fact there are plenty of times when she's really sweet and smiley, and the film is punctuated with some light-hearted comic moments that do not detract from the film in any way.

Wonderful film.

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