|I've Loved You So Long (DVD, 2009) Kristin Scott Thomas WORLDWIDE SHIP AVAIL!|
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|I've Loved You So Long (DVD, 2009)|
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Average review score based on 8 user reviews
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An excellent independent film by French novelist-turned-director Phillipe Claudel's, I've Loved You So Long, has just been released on DVD.
The film, which stars Kristin Scott Thomas, opens with the reunion of two sisters who haven't seen each other in 15 years. The opening credit sequence goes back and forth between Juliette (Thomas), sitting alone at a table in an airport, looking as lost and desolate as a war refugee, and younger sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein), coming to pick Juliette up, nervously dropping her keys as she walks in. Without a single word of dialogue to enlighten us as to what's wrong with Juliette, we know this much: this is a woman who has suffered some horrific trauma; she is lost to herself, locked away, not there.
We learn soon enough that Juliette has just been released from prison after serving 15 years for murder, and that Lea, who was just a young girl when her adored older sister disappeared from her life, is bringing Juliette to her home to reconnect with her after all these years. There's tension between Lea and her husband, Luc, who's uncertain about the wisdom of Lea bringing her sister into their home, which they share with their two young daughters and his father, and from Juliette, who doesn't want to be in their lives and seems to have lost all sense of how to connect emotionally with others, but knows she doesn't really have a choice but to be there. Juliette may have been released from prison by the authorities who put her there, but she's still very much a prisoner within herself.
The older of Juliette's young nieces is fascinated by the sudden appearance of the aunt she never knew she had, and peppers her with questions about where she's been all this time. Juliette's tension when she's engaged in conversations with the child is palpable, but try as she might to keep her emotional distance, her niece's persistance and the normal routine of family life slowly starts to break through her walls.
And that's as much as you're going to get out of me as to the plot of this film, because you simply have to see it yourself to appreciate the masterful way in which Claudel weaves this story together. At its deepest level, this is a story about prisons, in which we never see the walls of a prison cell. It's about the ways in which we lock ourselves up, punish ourselves, give up and turn our backs on the world when the pain it deals us is more than we can bear, but it's also about the resiliency of the human spirit, and of love to heal us even when we've given up all hope.
This is truly a fabulous film that is so beautifully told....Kristin Scott Thomas is just nothing short of Magnificent!...her portrayal of this battered and torn soul who is the weary protagonist...about how she kept such a dark and forboding secret which cost her a 15 year prison term...somthing for which society would have her guilty of, the death of her child...but as the story unfolds...she had a document that surfaced late in the story which vindicated her and then the Drama really peaked!!...Her sister who had taken her in with her family...was unbelievably perplexed as to why she would not have shed light on this before, and which would have averted her prison sentence...but she painfully revealed that the death of her son was too much to bear, and so she wanted to be improsoned...because she knew she was already in a kind of prison with her child's loss...Just a remarkable story...superbly directed...Spoken in beautiful French..with English subtitles....all the other actors in the film are great too...especially, the Sister played by Elsa Zylberstein, who also is fantastic and very intense actress....would recommend this masterpiece to anyone who likes great films of Drama!
I was attracted to this movie because the previews left me wanting more.
I enjoyed watching it and learning the story of the two sisters, who seem on opposite ends of the personality spectrum.
We are first introduced to Juliette, right out of prison, waiting at the airport. Soon comes Lea, the younger sister who she has not seen in 15 years. The reunion seems bittler sweet.
As the movie continues we learn that Juliette was convicted of murder. After the conviction her parents declared her dead to them and forbid her sister, Lea, to communicate with her, assumably because of the shame Juliette brought to the family.
While I watched the interactin and the story unfold, I was left with one conclusion after another about the murder Juliette was suppose to have committed. I was surprised at who the victim was and the background behind it.
The story was very well put together. I enjoyed the movie but, at the end, finally realized that the title "I've Loved You So Long" is deceiving. I halfway expected something else when I got this movie, thinking the trailer was just part of the story. There is so much more to tell but the trailer gave the main story away. All that was left would be the questions we all have. Who did she kill? Why did she kill? You'll have to watch the movie if you want to learn more.
This movie could make a good discussion in a group. I am sure anyone who watches it would have a different opinion.
Yes, I would watch this one again with someone else. It is a worth while purchase and because it is based in France, it gave me a good insight to non-US film makers.
This is a beautiful story of two sisters who come to know each other again after a long separation. The casting is perfect and each character is so real that I totally get caught up in the story. I prefer it in French with English subtitles although English is available - the voices just fit better in French.
I recommend this to women in particular but I think men would enjoy it also.
"I've Loved You So Long" is a French-language movie that stars Kristin Scott Thomas as a woman haunted by her past. Having served prison time for 15 years for murder, Juliette Fontaine is released on parole and goes to live with her younger sister, Lea [Elsa Zylberstein] who was only a teenager when Juliette was sent to prison. Juliette finds it awkward reconnecting with people, and it's especially hard as Lea is married and has two adopted Vietnamese daughters, and a father-in-law who is recovering from a stroke. Things are made more difficult by Lea's husband Michel who can't reconcile with Juliette's living with them, considering the crime she committed. I won't give too much of the plot away, as this is a movie that unfolds slowly and rewards the patient viewer with all the necessary information in good time.
The plot may seem slow in revealing the details one wishes to know, such as the unspeakable crime Juliette has committed and why she is such a tormented, distant soul, but this actually worked for me as Juliette's character is fully- developed here and the viewer is rewarded with one of the most poignant and nuanced performance by an actress. Kristin Scott-Thomas is remarkable in this movie, and her French is excellent [there is also an English audio option in which she actually does the dubbing for her part]. Her portrayal of a fragile and tormented woman who is haunted by her past and struggling to go on with her life on a daily basis is nothing short of amazing. She truly deserved the Golden Globe nomination for her performance. Elsa Zylberstein is also very credible as lea, Juliette's compassionate younger sister who tries her best to penetrate the wall of silence Juliette has erected around her. The supporting cast also does a good job - the tortured parole officer who pines for his ex-wife and kids, the college lecturer who is romantically interested in Juliette and a few others - I thought the cast did a credible job in holding the film together and elevating it above another melodrama.
This is a depressing movie and definitely one that leaves you pondering on many important life issues - choices, regrets, relationships and many more. But, I feel more enlightened for having watched it, and would recommend it to anyone who is keen on human dramas with substance.