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Apart from the NC-17 sex scenes, the buzz of this film made me think it was going to be about the two people on the poster. But from the first frame, it's really just about one — Adele. So much film is spent focused on her face that it's easy to lose contact with other characters and the world around her. But in doing so, I felt very drawn into her thought process, which made the story of her romance to Emma that much more powerful, despite the language barrier and the relationship's keen specificities. Being so drawn in proved very helpful during the breakup scene. On it's own, you see a woman scorned and the sad stupidity of her unfaithful lover fighting a lost cause. But because we know so much about that unfaithful lover, I felt worse, because I know what led her to this place and was sad she couldn't articulate it in the moment. It added to what I think is the film's major achievement -- showing how an ecstatic love like Emma's and Adele's can end up feeling so isolating.

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