By Dennis Hartley
(Originally posted on Digby’s Hullabaloo on December14, 2019)
Betty Blue – The Criterion Collection
This 1986 drama from Jean-Jacques Beineix (Diva) is an erotically-charged tale of love and madness that is at once as seductive and unsettling as its eponymous heroine (especially as embodied by the voluptuous Beatrice Dalle, in her astounding film debut). Jean-Hugues Anglade co-stars as Zorg, a half-hearted writer who quietly chugs along supporting himself as a handyman. When he meets Betty, he finds instant romance (and a Muse), but his life just as quickly begins to get turned upside down by her increasingly unpredictable mood swings. Anglade and Dalle are charismatic.
Criterion’s edition features the full 186-minute cut of the film. The new hi-def digital restoration really makes Jean Francois Robin’s striking cinematography pop with its gorgeously saturated colors. Extras include an engaging 2013 documentary with recollections by director Beineix, Anglade and Dalle, and a 1977 short film by Beineix.