“I had known Betty for a week. We screwed every night. The forecast was for storms”
Betty Blue isn’t a horror film, it is simply, in my humble opinion, the greatest movie ever made & it is for that reason I include a review of the movie on this page. Betty Blue is a masterpiece, a story of doomed love, obsession, devotion & depression. Wonderfully acted, carefully scripted & lovingly directed. This is how all movies should be made. It is a movie that pulls you in, makes you care about the characters & packs one hell of an emotional punch. If you remain unmoved by this movie as the credits roll you are simply not human.
Betty Blue tells the story of Zorg & Betty. As the movie begins they are a week into their relationship. Zorg works as a live in handyman at a rundown beachside housing area. The houses are nothing more than rundown shacks. Betty quits her job as a waitress after being sexually harassed by her boss & moves in with Zorg. After several arguments with Zorg over his boss & lack of ambition, Betty finds some handwritten notebooks containing a book Zorg had written a few years earlier. Betty resolves to type them up & get them published. Betty’s devotion to Zorg & her increasingly erratic behaviour lead to her burning their shack to the ground & the two leave for Paris. The two try to build a new life for themselves but Betty’s mental state begins to deteriorate, Zorg, by now hopelessly in love with Betty does everything within his power to help the woman he loves. But events begin to spiral out of control as Zorg finds himself powerless to prevent the inevitable tragedy.
I simply cannot praise this movie enough. This genre of film is not usually to my taste but Betty Blue just simply cannot be ignored. The only way to see this movie is to watch the full 3 hour directors cut. Unlike most films, Betty Blue moves at a sedate pace, giving much-needed time to characterisation. Allowing you (the audience) to know & understand these people, to feel for them. While there are several supporting characters in the movie, it is a movie centralised & driven by the characters of Betty & Zorg. The acting by the two leads is nothing short of perfection. I could not help, the first time I saw this movie, falling in love with Beatrice Dalle & her performance as Betty. At the beginning of the movie Dalle’s Betty lights up the screen with an intense smouldering sexuality & a wonderfully free-willed attitude. As she stands in the doorway of Zorg’s shack at the beginning of the movie with her suitcase, she simply defines the pinnacle of sex appeal & desirability. As the movie progresses & Betty’s mental state goes into decline, Dalle’s performance is stunning. Neither underplayed, nor overplayed, she brings such vulnerability to Betty that you simply feel for her & want her to pull through. Dalle’s performance is stunning, one that truly sucks you in & makes you feel for her character. Yet as good as Dalle is, it is Jean-Hugues Anglade as Zorg who really steals the movie. While Dalle’s Betty is the noticeable performance, swinging between innocent sexuality & bouts of depression & instability, it is Anglade’s Zorg that grounds the movie. Even at times providing a voiceover narration. His portrait of a man hopelessly in love with Betty, yet increasingly powerless to stop the inevitable is wonderfully understated. By the end of the movie you completely feel for him & empathise with his character, an incredible acting performance. Director Jean-Jacques Beineix has created a movie that is beautifully shot & looks amazing. As mentioned before the movie gives so much time over to characterisation that you cannot help but feel for Betty & Zorg. Quite simply this is a masterpiece.
Betty Blue is one of those movies that never loses its impact, regardless of how many times I watch it. Part of the joy of writing this review was sitting down before hand to watch the movie again, to fall in love with Betty again, to feel myself drawn into the story & to feel something by the time the credits roll. A rare work of genius.