The French film Betty Blue was one of the major successes of 1986 cinema, yet it doesn’t seem to have retained much public affection, unlike other films of the era such as Blue Velvet or even Top Gun.
The poster once launched a million student bedroom walls, but who remembers Betty Blue now? A new DVD and Blu Ray release may change this.
I remember going to see Betty Blue in the cinema when it was released. It was during my BIG hair phase, when people sitting behind me had to ask me to part my crimped, backcombed headbush so they could see the movie. This was an occupational hazard of going to the cinema in the 1980s.
Betty Blue is an emotionally charged love story but it’s also funny and sad and moving; gorgeous to look at and exquisite to listen to.
And nearly 30 years later, it holds up pretty well, as this copy which was sent to me for review proves.
For younger viewers: it looks like a film shot in Instagram, and it’s great, is all you need to know.
It opens with a very explicit sex scene so don’t schedule it as your family Christmas movie. Now that anyone who wants to can find adult material within a few clicks these scenes may have less shock value, but at the time they were pretty notorious as it was widely thought that Betty and Zorg were – y’know – not faking it. As a date movie it’s not exactly subtle.
And Beatrice Dalle – we all wanted to be her (or at least look like her), so where did she go?
One of the extras on this disc is her screen test and you can see where her intoxicating smoulder sprinkled with madness started.
All in all this is a great value package for fans of quality cinema.
For around £13 you get the original cinema cut, the director’s 177 minute cut with an extra hour of footage, an hour-long dcoumentary about the making of the film, and Beatrice dalle’s screen test.
The ‘Making Of’ documentary is particularly interesting as it contains up to date interviews with all the main players – stars Beatrice Dalle and Jean-Hugues Anglade, plus director Jean-Jacques Beineix.
You can’t help feeling that this was the career high of everyone involved. Beatrice Dalle has more than a hint of the magnificent diva about her and has clearly retained her fabulousness.
Hopefully this re-release will give a new generation of film fans the chance to discover Betty, her blueness and all.
Betty Blue: Deluxe 2 Disc Edition is out now on DVD and Blu Ray, priced from £12.50