Lorrie Moore doesn’t offer a moral critic of the sex in the controversial lesbian film Blue is the Warmest Color. Instead, she calls the sex scenes ” an almost fatal narrative mistake .”

She goes on: “Cinematic sex (unlike pillow talk, and that includes the pillow talk here, as well as that of Rock Hudson and Doris Day) is not all that fascinating because it is not all that sharable. What is being experienced by the characters is not something that can be felt by viewing. But the other problem is that despite these young women appearing expert in what they are doing in bed, the sex may be inauthenticno youthful fumbling here. Manohla Dargis has written in The New York Times that their pantomiming is obvious; others have noted that Kechiches lesbian sex is laughably constructed with pornographic tropes; Julie Maroh, the author of the book the film is based on, has also complained of the bedroom choreography. For a filmmaker whose strength seems to be a vital naturalism, these are sticking criticisms.”

Moore says that the sex scenes “mute and obscure the actresses.” Like “most carnality,” these scenes cause “the interesting parts of these womens personalities to recede. The actresses for long stretches of time become action heroes, and the portrait of them that the film has ostensibly been working on grinds, so to speak, to a halt.”

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