This review contains spoilers, so don't read if you plan on seeing this film. Or go ahead, if you want to read it and plan to see the movie anyway. Your choice, of course.
Blue begins simply enough -- with an ordinary family leaving a busy city, which we assume, in this case, to be Paris — perhaps driving through the tunnels of the peripherique that circle about Paris as they head out of town and out to the country where their home is. It’s just an ordinary day. Down to the roadside scene when they stop for their daughter, who heads to the tall grass for a bathroom break where we guess she squats and pees.
It is during this moment that things turn ominous and we are shown the undercarriage of the car with what must be brake line fluid leaking quickly drop by drop, a bad omen, to be sure. A few minutes later, in the hush of the country, the car drives on quickly (maybe too quickly), wheels hugging the road as they head around a bend, where the husband, Patrice, must have tried to brake on a sharp curve. Then there is an awful bang, smoke, and a dreadful silence. A young boy in his early teens, who we see before the accident playing with a ball on a stick, goes running through the vacant countryside to the scene of the crash, but there is no village in sight.
The scene cuts and what we see next is Julie, the wife, in a hospital bed, badly injured, and alone. Her husband is dead, as is Anna, her daughter. Whether you like this film or not, it’s hard not to identify with the incredible pain such a loss would bring. To wake up and find everything you knew is now gone, that you outlived your child (which should never happen) is an awful, awful thing. But this is the stuff of ordinary life -- it is how Blue begins and it is not an uncommon story on the eleven o’clock news in any country the world over. People die every day in such crashes, losing half their family and likely wishing they, too, were dead. I know I would wish that I had died. I would not want to be alive. I just wouldn’t. I could not bear it. As the film will bear out, this is, by no means, easy for Julie either, but read on.
Patrice, we soon discover, was a famous French composer, working on a piece of music for the unification of Europe. It is suggested more than once throughout the film, that it is Julie who is the real talent behind the piece and it was, in fact, she who wrote the music. Patrice may have taken the glory, but the real talent was Julie. Life is ironic like that. Patrice receives a stately and grand funeral on television, which Julie watches, courtesy of Olivier — Patrices’s partner, we gather -- who brings her a Panasonic foldable mini-television so she can watch. It is makes one ache when she reaches one finger to touch the screen where her daughter’s small coffin is. The world mourns Patrice, but who is mourning for Julie? Who knows that Julie wrote the music and does Julie herself care? It seems, for now. anyway, she is content to let it go and has been for a long time. But how much she wrote… well…