Written by: Michael Den Boer on July 14th, 2009
Theatrical Release Dates: France, April 9th, 1986 (Theatrical Cut), France, June 26th, 1991 (Director’s Cut)
Approximate running time: 185 minutes (Director’s Cut)
Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1 Widescreen
Director: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Writer: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Cinematographer: Jean-François Robin
Composer: Gabriel Yared
Cast: Jean-Hugues Anglade, Béatrice Dalle, Gérard Darmon, Consuelo De Haviland, Clémentine Célarié, Jacques Mathou
Synopsis: An aspiring author becomes involved with a young woman who slowly loses her grip on reality.
Betty Blue was written and directed by Jean-Jacques Beineix, whose other notable films include Diva, Roselyne and the Lions, IP5: The Island of Pachyderms and The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. And before becoming a director Jean-Jacques Beineix worked as second assistant director on the rarely seen Jerry Lewis film The Day the Clown Cried.
Betty Blue would mark the first collaboration between cinematographer Jean-François Robin and Jean-Jacques Beineix. There other collaborations include Roselyne and the Lions and IP5: The Island of Pachyderms. The score for Betty Blue was composed by Gabriel Yared, whose other notable scores include, Camille Claudel, The Lover, The Talented Mr. Ripley, The Moon in the Gutter and IP5: The Island of Pachyderms.
The plot revolves two complete opposites who fall head over heels in love with each other. Betty is a free spirit who has a lust for living life to the fullest, while Zorg is reluctant to take chances as he never strays too far away from his mundane life. Without a doubt the most powerful aspect of this film is the evolution of the two main characters (Betty & Zorg) and how by the end of the film their personalities exchange places.
Performance wise all of the cast are very good in their respective roles with the films standout performance coming from Béatrice Dalle (her feature film debut) in the role of Betty. It is easy to fall under her spell as is captivating throughout. The most memorable moments in the film revolve around Betty’s outbursts and her disintegration in the final act. Ultimately Betty Blue is a grueling experience that is extremely rewarding in the end.
Note: For more information about Betty Blue and it’s limited theatrical re-release go here.