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Tuesday
Nov192013

Gold is the Most Coveted Color

Léa Seydoux & Adele Exarchopoulos at the Governor's Ball

Let's see Léa & Adèle at all the Oscar-courting events. S'il vous plaît. Werk that circuit, ladies.

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Reader Comments (25)

Oui!

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

First thought, dear god the hotness

Second thought, dear god the hotness

Third thought, i have several close lesbian friends, and they have many many many lesbian friends, and yet none of them look like or dress like this. Not one. Whereas 98% of actresses who play gay in movies look and dress like this. I could hardly blame Seydoux and Exarchopoulos for choosing to look blindingly hot on the red carpet. But it does remind me of how lesbian characters in films directed by non-lesbians are never played by women who actually look like they've spent any time in a lesbian bar.

Fourth thought, dear god the hotness

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

So do you think this gives hope that the AMPAS may actually vote for/nominate it??

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterleigh

I really cant deal with how sexy Léa Seydoux is. shooting up the ranks of my favorite rising stars

November 19, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

goran- They're not in character for the red carpet and they do not even come close to looking like **this** during the film. In fact, there is a lesbian bar scene in the film.

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

HOT.

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

they should be all over each other. (they do this in every photo shoot they do together)

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentermarcelo

I love her since La Belle Personne

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I think everyone should open up a fifth spot exclusively to them in their respective categories. I wish Streep could be denied entry into Best Actress this year and every year after that.

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered Commenter3rtful

Looking at Léa Seydoux inevitably causes two overwhelming and completely opposite reactions. 1.) Look away immediately because the sexual energy radiating off of her at any given moment is too intense to experience directly, and 2.) never stop staring, no blinking. SO HOT.

And I love that "show up looking blindingly hot" looks like it's going to be their strategy. At the very least, should net them some Globes attention.

@goran--ugh so many things that are bothersome about that comment...

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Can you guys believe Adèle is only nineteen?! Doesn't that make her performance all the more astonishing?

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTyler

goran - the fact that you think lesbians need to look an specific way in order to be lesbians is... ridiculous. you might have a lot of lesbian friends, you might be a very progressive person, but i'd still recommend you to go a little further on the subject of human sexuality - maybe educate yourself on heteronormativity and other topics of gender studies.
think about it for a second. do you really think the way you dress has this much to do with what kind of genitals you prefer?
come on.

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClara

Let me also just say one of my best friends and most important people in my life reminds me of Adele, the character and actress, and is also a lesbian who has had all sorts of femme, androgynous girlfriends that I can never say she has a 'type'.

November 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCMG

@clara
Wow, you have just blown my mind. Thank you for educating me on human sexuality and heteronormativity. I'd in fact love to know more about these things, because as a gay guy with a cinema studies degree with a focus on gender and sexuality representation, I'm just so misinformed. Do you give private lessons by any chance? Can I bring along my lesbian friends, who originally alerted me to the skewed, inauthentic and disheartening representations of gay women by straight male filmmakers? Evidently they also need to be educated.

@CMG
I'm aware they don't look like this during the film, and yes, I'm well aware that femme lesbians exist and are not quite an endangered species. (I mean, come on! I'm a little bit offended by the implication here.)
I'm also aware that it's far from impossible for a lesbian woman to look like Seydoux or Exarchopoulos do here. In fact you could make a film where they play lesbians and still look like this, and it could still be plausible. That's not my issue.
My issue is that 98% of prominent lesbian roles in films by straight male directors go to traditionally feminine straight actresses. 98% of lesbians are not femme. And a sizable portion of lesbians feel - with good cause - erased from their own stories by straight male filmmakers.
On the other hand check out just about any film made by a lesbian director, particularly a film that isn't aggressively courting the mainstream. (I felt a little bit uneasy about this aspect of Kids Are All Right as well, but I still loved it and I totally understand the realities of indie film financing as well as the shortage/lack of big name gay actresses of the Bening/Moore calibre).

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

@goran--I get where you're coming from, but I still take issue with some parts of your comments. I don't want to get too off-topic from the film, but it's just not true that 98% of lesbians are not feminine, especially when you consider the ages of the characters in this film. And when you count women who desire women who don't identify as lesbian, that number is even more specious. Femme visibility is a touchy issue in the queer female community, and you're kind of poking the bear with the suggestion that most actresses who portray lesbians are not believably queer. Do there need to be more butch/boi actresses in Hollywood? Yes absolutely. Should everyone have to play roles according to their respective gender/sexual identities? Of course not. Were these two women the best choices for their parts? Having seen the film, I'd say yes without hesitation.

But even beyond that, why is there such an obsession with "authenticity" when it comes to lesbianism onscreen? Even assuming there was some kind of one single "authentic" lesbian experience (which there is not), film is a fantasy. 98% of straight couples look nothing like Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, but no one complained about how unrealistically beautiful they are when Blue Valentine came out. Seems like the same principle as the one that insists that all representations of the black experience, even those made by black filmmakers for black audiences, must be "authentic", i.e. placed within the "correct" social context. Only those with privilege have the option of fantasy.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

wow... Lea... and that's how you do sexy.

american starlets, take note.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJones

TB & Goran & Clara-- i'd say that there's obsession with authenticity of lesbian lust in movies because we get SO MUCH OF IT historically (as compared to gay male sexual relations) and so much of it is pitched for straight guys by straight guys. It's so prevalent that it's often actually a joke on sitcoms and such that straight men are turned on by watching women kiss. But in most actual sexual situations the players are not doing it to turn a third (other) party on but to turn themselves on.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@Nathaniel--Sure, but it seems people think that the way this history of exploitation should be combatted is by constructing some kind of normative lesbian experience, as opposed to addressing the privilege of male audiences and filmmakers. This tactic makes sense in certain scenarios--when it comes to the sweeps week lesbian TV trope for example--but from where I'm sitting, it has been applied so broadly that it's started to become a form of self-censorship. Real lesbians don't scissor, real lesbians aren't feminine, real lesbians never sleep with men. To be honest, a lot of those criticisms seem born as much out of shame as they are from the threat of the male gaze. Instead of focusing in on realizing all of the multiplicities and possibilities of the queer female experience, we're constantly oriented out to battle against outsiders, without even really examining the intentions of those outsiders all that carefully.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

Plus I will say I think the frenzy around showing lesbian having sex the right way, whatever that means, is just as fetishistic as the actual male-centered fetishization of lesbian sex, but at least the male gaze is trying to please someone instead of fetishizing for the sake of moral authority.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTB

TB -- great points. I certainly cringe myself when anyone says there's one right way to do/see/write/portray/act/be anything.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNathanielR

goran - wow, and thank you for giving us your resumé in order to validate your opinion, just like in your first post, when you dropped the "i've got a lot of lesbian friends" card, so that no-one could say you were being a little lesbophobic... it's like when bryan cranston converted to judaism so that he could tell antisemitic jokes on Seinfeld. you can be gay as fuck and still have ignorant opinions on gay issues. you can definetly be a gay man and have ignorant opinions on how women (gay or straight) should look.
i disagree with you and your lesbian friends with regards to this specific movie. there's definitely a certain way by which films tend to represent gay women - just like there's definitely a certain way by which it represents women in general, by the way it represents minorities... etc. this is a problem for all groups who don't fit the cis-hetero-male-white-upper-middle-class category. it's a reflection of our social structure and, in my opinion, it won't change unless the social structure changes.
what sounds really weird to me is how you (and apparently your lesbian friends) have determined a specific way lesbians should look. it's a self-made guetto, if you don't mind me saying so. "lesbians need to act and dress like this, otherwise they're not lesbians".
i think "blue is the warmest color" is in fact pretty diverse in its representation of lesbian types. they've tranformed lea seydoux (who's very "feminine" in her real life") into a perfect butch.
if you and your friends think that determining a certain manner by which lesbians should be represented in movies is the way to go about fighting straigh-male views on gay women... well, then, i'm sorry, but i think you're just as narrow as they are. sexual liberation is not about changing the old set of rules for a whole different set of (new) rules.
isn't it weird that i too i'm not straight and yet i don't share the same opinion of your lesbian-rules-making lesbian friends? so weird.

Nathaniel - i agree with you, but... don't you think that, to some degree, all sexual representation in movies the players are doing it to turn a third (other) party on and not to turn themselves on?
as a matter of fact, it's sound to me like a good definition of sex in movies.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClara

Clara, my resume was in response to your toxic level of condescension. And I don't keep lesbian friends for sociopolitical reasons but hey thank you for assuming that too. You're obviously a very pleasant person to be around.

Meantime, neither me nor, as far as I'm aware, my lesbian friends have ever suggested that there is only one kind of lesbian experience and only one way to represent it. Purely that many of the most prominent traits and aspects of the lesbian community, which don't usually turn on straight men, are routinely brushed aside when straight men choose to represent gay women. Since nearly all mainstream representations of gay women are created by straight men, this creates an imbalance that wipes out the kind of characters my specific lesbian friends would see themselves reflected in. Therefore it creates the impression that these kind of women are less worth exploring or presenting. For what I assumed were obvious reasons, I and my (straight and gay) friends find this upsetting.

It's the pattern of representation I take issue with, not this specific example.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

And I love that "show up looking blindingly hot" looks like it's going to be their strategy. At the very least, should net them some Globes attention.

Hey, if it's right... it's right. Work it out, chéris.

November 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMark The First

Hey goran, let me stop right here. I'm not gonna fight with you on the internet. I'm sorry I sounded condescending - I really felt I was talking with someone who didn't have a whole lot of knowledge on gender issues. Clearly I was mistaken (and that's what pissed you off the most, isn't it?). I can see that this is something you have studied and feel strongly about. I respect that. Maybe you'd have been more careful about the way you constructed your first post had you known this would turn out into an argument, maybe you wouldn't have changed a word. That's irrelevant.
My point is: this is also an important issue for me and, even though I recognise I was wrong implying you were ignorant on the subject, i strongly disagree with you. Strongly. I find your take on the matter to be narrow and too orthodox. I think that you fail to take into consideration that almost ALL women representation in film are problematic, therefore this is not a "privilege" of the lesbian community. I think that lesbian women can look like this just as much as straight women can. I think that, by focusing on how lesbians definitely don't look like this, you end up being prejudice against lesbians and authoritarian on how they look or should look. And, finally, I humbly suggest you come back to your initial post, read it again and consider how someone might be offended by the statement that Seydoux and Exarchopoulos "look blindingly hot on the red carpet" followed by "i have several close lesbian friends, and they have many many many lesbian friends, and yet none of them look like or dress like this. Not one."
have a nice day!

November 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterClara

clara & goran --i'm glad everyone is being civil an i know things got uncomfortable but i hope everyone can agree that representational politics is a fascinating conversation and several POVs are welcome... the problem in the movies being that there aren't enough of them.

November 22, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

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