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Betty Blue

Betty Blue 18 rating

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.

Drama 1986 185 mins

Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix

Overview

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s stylish and extravagant story of an unstable, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.

A film of two halves (especially in its extended director’s cut, as it’s presented here), Beineix begins with a focus on the unbridled sexual intensity of a relationship in its early passionate throes, before Betty’s volatile streak soon starts to signify a more worrying descent into depression. It’s become a tirelessly repeated cliché that no 1980s student digs was complete without a poster of Betty Blue on the walls, and it’s certainly true that clever marketing (including a savvy retitling from the original: 37° 2 le matin) resulted in a film that achieved real crossover success in the UK, becoming the signature film of the ‘cinema du look’ movement.