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Three Colours Blue
The first instalment of the late Polish director Krzysztof Kieslowski's trilogy on Liberty, Equality and Fraternity, the three colours of the French flag. Blue is the most sombre of the three, a movie dominated by feelings of grief. As the film begins, a car accident claims the life of a well-known composer. His wife, played by Juliette Binoche (Oscar winner for The English Patient), does not so much put the pieces of her life back together as start an entirely new existence. She moves to Paris, where she dissolves into a wordless life virtually without other people. Kieslowski attaches an almost subconscious significance to the colour blue but primarily he focuses on Binoche's luminous face and the way her subtle shifts in emotion flicker and disappear. The picture may be more enigmatic than the follow-ups White and Red but Binoche's quiet, heartbreaking presence becomes spellbinding; her performance won the best actress prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1993.