Its contrivances show through despite the stellar efforts of the cast. But I'll always remember the scene of Adele choking on a candy bar in her sadness, which so perfectly crystallizes that moment of an affective intensity potent enough to override the "natural" functions of the body.
I liked the atmosphere and the ambiance, but the characters, mainly Adèle and Emma, could've been better developped, at least in my opinion. Too much emphasis was laid on the characterization of Emma, which made her a bit too pretentious for my taste. I will say, though, that the movie had some great sequences. The break-up scene felt honest and believable, it was almost too unbearable to watch.