France

Movies You Haven’t Heard Of: Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adèle)

Blue is the Warmest Color Collage

The first of my new review series.

I generally feel unfulfilled by the majority of American and mainstream film, but there are so many amazing movies made every year that get buried beneath the blockbusters. Well, I’m putting a stop to that. In this series, I will explore foreign film, indie film, and film festival winners. These types of films are a huge influence on my writing and I want to share them with you.

My first review is for Blue is the Warmest Color (La vie d’Adèle), Palm d’Or winner in 2013.

Synopsis

Language: French with English subtitles. 2 parts, total 3 hours 7 minutes.

Adele is an innocent middle class girl. She likes to eat spaghetti and watch TV with her pleasant, ordinary family. While in high school, Adele realizes something is missing from her life. She discovers she’s attracted to women and is not really sure what to do about it.

One night she meets a blue-haired woman named Emma in a bar. They have an instant rapport and Emma begins waiting for Adele after school. They talk philosophy and art. Emma is an artist and sketches Adele.

Adele’s new friendship with the blue-haired girl is obviously more than plutonic. Her school friends ostracize her. Adele distances herself more and more from her old life, embracing a new one with Emma. The two grow closer and Adele becomes Emma’s muse. They enter into a steady relationship and move in together, but Adele never feels like she fits in with Emma’s intellectual and artsy friends. She’s a just an elementary school teacher and is happy simply being Emma’s partner.

Emma’s affections wane. She wants Adele to become more of her own person. Physical intimacy becomes infrequent and Adele becomes insecure. She acts out by sleeping with a man she works with. The couple’s bond is destroyed, and Emma throws Adele out of the house. From there Adele is lost and struggles to get Emma back. She defined herself by being Emma’s lover and loses her identity and self-worth.

From there, Adele floats through life in a detached, depressed state. A few years later, She and Emma meet and make peace with one another, but Emma has a partner and there is no hope for reconciliation. This doesn’t stop Adele from trying to win her, but even though Emma still has powerful feelings for Adele, it’s too late.

In the end, Emma’s painting career takes off and Adele attends her gallery showing. She see’s Emma happy with her new partner. This is the moment Adele finally accepts the fact that she and Emma will never be together again and with that acceptance, Adele permits herself to move on and become her own woman.

Review

Blue is the Warmest Color is a sweet and turbulent coming-of-age romance in which the protagonist discovers that in order to really love someone, you must know and love yourself.

Both Adèle Exarchopoulos (Adele) Léa Seydoux (Emma) executed mindblowing performances, and I’ll be looking for more movies featuring them. Lea Seydoux I found particularly captivating as Emma, and Adele Exarchopoulos was the perfect combination of awkward, charming, and vulnerable.

The director, Abdellatif Kechiche, is a genius. You could tell he had a distinct vision for this movie. He allowed the actresses to be free and natural. He kept them raw and very human. I would sometimes forget I was watching a movie and not just peeking at someone’s life through their windows.

You could tell Kechiche was in love with Adele’s mouth, and as adorable as it was, he could’ve focused on it a little less. The sex scenes were passionate, but extremely graphic and drawn out. There is such a thing as too much ass-slapping lesbian sex, and after the release of physical longing between the characters, I wanted to get back to the movie to see where their relationship would go next. I think if Kechiche cut the sex scenes in half they would’ve made more of an impact. However, I’m sure there are many who would disagree.

Even though this is what would be considered a LGBT movie, I felt the homosexual was element secondary to the main themes. This was a pure love story that shows us how relationships, even the ones that don’t work out, help us grow and become part of our being.

Trailer

Rating

***** 5 stars

NOT recommended for…

…viewers who are not prepared to make the investment of time and attention into a complex love story in a foreign language. This movie is especially not for anyone who is squeamish about full-on lesbian sex or who doesn’t enjoy reading subtitles for long periods of time.

Recommended for…

…film-lovers who gobble up three hour-long character-driven love stories in French. I am so one of those people! If you are too, turn off your devices, lock the door, grab some junk food, and indulge in Blue is the Warmest Color.

Photo credit

Rotten Tomatoes

The Blog of Big Ideas

Indiewire

Have you seen this movie?

How did you like it?

What other indie/foreign films would you recommend to me and my readers?

Free Kindle eBook: The Wrong David

Fall in love with a person you can't have

Free this weekend!

To celebrate the one year anniversary of my first published work, I’m offering my novelette, The Wrong David, free all weekend.


Here are some of the reviews…

“…a very entertaining, sexually wrought, wistful romp throughout the beaches and streets of Marseille.”

“Fuelled by boozy days and nights of over-indulgence David finds a voice we didn’t think he had. The scene is set for a perfect indiscretion – but there’s a twist in the tail!”

“Anyone who has ever secretly longed for the significant other of a close friend will immediately identify with this well-written story set in the South of France. The dialog is sharp and the characters believable. The writing is both funny and poignant. The Wrong David entertains and delivers.”

“I loved this little book and highly recommend you take an afternoon to yourself, grab a bottle of wine, and get lost in Marseille and The Wrong David.”

“…for an endearing look at love, loyalty, timing and being in the moment.”

“An entertaining read that leaves you yearning. Well written and captivating.”


Read all reviews.

Download your copy here.

No Kindle? No problem. Read Kindle books on any computer or device. Click here.

🙂 Once you’ve finished, please let me know how you liked it by leaving your review on Amazon. 

The Wrong David will be free tomorrow.

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

It’s David’s birthday. Get your free copy of his story this weekend!

It’s hard to believe The Wrong David was published a year ago. I have very nostalgic feelings for this novela because it was the first thing I’ve ever published. I miss these characters and wonder if I should revisit them for a full-length novel. Maybe you can read the story and tell me.

The great reviews I’ve received for The Wrong David have motivated me to keep writing, and in honor of this humble occasion I’m giving The Wrong David 1st Anniversary Kindle edition for free over the weekend.

The story…

David is a disillusioned American wine broker who meets his partner and best friend, Brian, in France’s Côte d’Azur to tour the vineyards of Provence. Brian brings his wife, Vanessa, who David has been desperately in love with for years. David has cultivated his obsession with Vanessa, using it as a distraction from his otherwise unfulfilling life.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings for his best friend’s wife.

Read more about The Wrong David and my self-publication experience.

Meet my character, David.

Add The Wrong David to your wishlist, bookmarks, or download for FREE beginning Friday morning.

Let me know if you need a reminder! I can tweet, email, or Facebook ya!

Win The Wrong David on Deranged Writers

best-window-displays_tiffany-co_2013_christmas_01

Hello, my friends! Today’s the last day to enter to win my novelette, The Wrong David, at Deranged Writers for their December Delights festivities. I know it’s kind of a last minute announcement, but I’ve been traveling the past few weeks and I’m totally disoriented. Apologies!

TheWrongDavid.BookCover

To win a copy, just pop by Deranged Writers and visit Anne and Chani. If you’re feeling Scroogy, they will put you in the holiday mood with food, decor, folklore, and travel.

Enter by visiting these posts! (Follow directions at the bottom)

HOLIDAY FOOD & DRINK: BREUDHER

GOOD OLD ST. NICK

CHRISTMAS SONGS VOL. ONE

HOLIDAY DECOR: CHRISTMAS AT TIFFANY’S

HOLIDAY DESTINATION WISH LIST: CHRISTMAS IN PARIS

 

Learn more about The Wrong David.

The Wrong David #Free on #Kindle: Last Chance to Spend the Day in France

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo free on Amazon Kindle

Spend your Sunday on a hot Marseille beach. Click photo to download.

 

Spend your Sunday morning or afternoon in Marseille with a bottle of wine. David finally gets Vanessa, his best friend’s wife, alone in a hotel room. Will they behave like honorable adults?

My first published novelette, The Wrong David is in the Top 10 Bestsellers in the Free Kindle Store for Literary Short Stories and Literary Romance. It also just received a 5 star review!

Today’s your last chance to get it for free.

 

 Meet My Main Character

The Story Behind the Story

 

 

 

Drunken Americans Behaving Badly in France

Hi everybody. Just to let you know, as part of my KDP Experiment I am trying one of Kindle Direct Publishing’s promotion optionsThis means my novelette, The Wrong David, is free on Amazon for the next five days!

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo cover featuring Gustav Klimt's Watersnakes.

The Wrong David

Grab your copy here.

Many of you may have already met my character, David, in the Meet My Main Character blog tour. For those of you who don’t know him, here’s a quick blurb:

David is a disillusioned American wine broker who meets his partner and best friend, Brian, in France’s Côte d’Azur to tour the vineyards of Provence. Brian brings his wife, Vanessa, who David has been desperately in love with for years. David has cultivated his obsession with Vanessa, using it as a distraction from his otherwise unfulfilling life.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings.

I know. It’s not the best blurb. I’m still working on that. And I will let you know how this KDP promo turns out.

If any of you experienced indie authors have any tips on how to make the most of these promotions, please share.

Wish me luck!

 

Santé! (Cheers)

 

 

Meet My Main Character Blog Tour: Introducing The Wrong David

Welcome readers and writers

I was delighted yesterday when my buddy, Madhuri Blaylock, the author of The Sanctum Trilogy, tagged me in a little game called Meet My Main Character Blog Tour.

Madhuri’s passion for writing and charisma for the digital writing community are contagious, and being the new girl on Worpdpress I feel so special that I was noticed.

hello

Rules 

The taggee must write a post answering the same seven questions about their MC. Then the taggee becomes the tagger and chooses five other authors. It’s sort of like a chain letter with all the potential to become a global virus.

 

So sorry, dear characters.

We’ll be hanging out all your dirty laundry for everyone to see. You better put on your dark sunglasses and prepare to punch the paparazzi.

 

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The Wrong David: My KDP Experiment

The Wrong David by Christa Wojo

The Wrong David, my first published work!

 

It’s official. I am a published author now, albeit self-published, but published nonetheless. I promise to decide on a pen name one day. For now, I’m still Wojo.

Get a copy now! 

ABOUT THE WRONG DAVID

The Wrong David is the story of David, who has never really felt at home in the world. He’s awkward and cynical, and stumbles through life medicating himself with alcohol and cigarettes.

His only friend is his oldest buddy from high school, Brian, who is handsome, out-going, and loved by all. Brian has always taken David under his wing and appointed David as CFO of his wine company.

They meet up in Marseilles to tour vineyards and source new wines. There, David indulges in his most powerful vice of all, Brian’s wife, Vanessa.

Vanessa is a goddess in David’s eyes. She is the only thing that makes him want to be part of the world, but he has never shared his secret with anyone.

As the threesome drink themselves through The French Riviera, David is losing his ability to hide his feelings.

 

THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY

I wrote this story three or four years ago. The Hubs was out of town and I was getting my Eurochannel fix when this unbelievably romantic French video came on and sparked the whole story.

I opened a bottle of Cabernet and wrote through the small hours of the morning.

Since that night, poor David has been buried in my computer files. A few months ago, I decided it was time to introduce him to the world. I sent the story to my editor and then to Kindle Singles.

My pride winced when I never heard back from Kindle Singles. I didn’t know if I should wait for a rejection email, or if they were too busy to even send one. Come to find out, getting into Kindle Singles is kind of a big deal. At the time, I was also switching all of my devices and computers from Windows to Mac OS X, so my ego likes to think maybe the email was lost in the shuffle and Kindle Singles didn’t even receive it.

My back-up plan was to use The Wrong David as a test book. I have been working on a series called The Sculptor of New Hope that I plan to publish within the next few years, and I wanted to check out this self-publish biz for real. I was told many horror stories about self publishing, so I wanted to experience the whole process. I’m the type of girl who learns by doing. The Wrong David has become my Amazon Kindle guinea pig.

(more…)