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Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013

Artificial Eye

French director Abdellatif Kechiche’s lengthy, Cannes-winning close-up of the tumultuous nature of first love is so intense that you can almost feel the warm breath on your neck.

Adèle Exarchopoulos, as wide-eyed lycéene Adèle, conveys innocence, sensuality and vulnerability with mesmerising naturalism.

It is hard not to feel protective as we follow the arc of her relationship with confident art student Emma (Léa Seydoux) – from explorative first encounters that mount to a peak of passion and give way to an inevitably excruciating “rupture”.

Beautiful and exhausting in equal measure.

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