Process Review

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An actress gets more and more desperate with the degrading things she feels forced to do to forward her career...


Yet again we are presented with a film that could, if it so wished, generate intelligent debate on its serious subject and cinematic techniques. And yet again it instead takes the easy option of resorting to explicit pornography in a desperate attempt to ensure notoriety.

That said, there’s something aesthetically appropriate about watching Betty Blue herself, Béatrice Dalle, play an actress on a downward spiral to suicide.

Whether her character is taking part in a violent threesome, eating ground glass or getting a concentration camp tattoo, Dalle is heroically committed to the task.

Leigh, a former art critic, clearly has visual and intellectual talent, as his 29 single-take scenes — interrupted by titles and quotations — deliberately block emotional attachment from the audience. A notch above Romance and Anatomy Of Hell, but well below Repulsion and Irréversible.

Can't fault the film's aesthetic and intellectual ambition but the emotional investment is low and it seems to resort to explicit pornography in a desperate attempt to ensure notoriety