Watch I've Loved You So Long
- 1 hr 55 min
"I've Loved You So Long" (2008) is a French drama film directed by Philippe Claudel and starring Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, and Serge Hazanavicius. The film follows Juliette, a woman who has just completed a 15-year prison sentence and is released to live with her younger sister Lea and her family. The movie begins with a long shot of Juliette, simply standing still in a plain dress and coat. She seems to have no expressions, no emotion, no clue about what is going on. And this one long shot perfectly encapsulates the complicated character of Juliette. She has been in prison for so long that she looks as though she has been locked away from society completely.
The movie sets out to help viewers understand Juliette and her situation. We learn that she committed a crime when she was young, one that was so heinous that it caused her family to disown her. Her sister Lea is the only person who kept in touch with Juliette, even if it were by writing letters for all those long, cruel years.
Juliette's re-entry into society is awkward and difficult. She's too old to fit in with the local students in her sister's classroom, she's skittish around people, and she can't quite remember how to carry on a conversation or even act like a normal human being after her experiences. She's lost her social skills, how to relate to others, how to make irrelevant chitchat, how to socially connect.
The heart of the movie, though, is the relationship between Juliette and Lea. Lea is initially cold to her unquestionably guilty sister, but eventually, they let their guard down, and old familial ties begin to grow and embark on a journey of healing. She helps Juliette reclaim her life and find her place in the world once more. The two also share a history of a dead brother, and their shared suffering quietly binds them together.
The first hour of "I've Loved You So Long" is Juliette's struggle. She's uncomfortable in her own skin, increasingly despondent at realizing how much time she has lost, and what she has missed out on. But as the movie progresses, Juliette seems to brighten, and viewers will see a hint of a smile, a bit more confidence, and signs of life in her.
One of the most striking things about "I've Loved You So Long" is the performance by Kristin Scott Thomas. She is Juliette, stoic and aloof. Her transformation is gradual, and when she finally opens up, it's nothing short of inspiring. She delivers a remarkable performance, vacillating between self-doubt and resilience. The movie's ability to make the viewer care deeply about Juliette is a testament to Scott Thomas's incredible work.
Elsa Zylberstein also delivers an excellent performance as Lea, her sister. Her raw emotion as she confronts her sister about the crime was fantastic. The rest of the cast is also excellent, particularly Hazanavicius as Michel, Lea's husband, and his friend Luc, played by Laurent GrÃ©vill. The characters are all authentic, convincingly human, and their interactions are believable.
The cinematography is another highlight of the film. The director and the cinematographer have taken great care with every shot, effectively capturing Juliette's experience. The movie is deliberately slow-paced, with long and sure takes, and the sights of the French country provide a beautiful visual distraction from the emotional weight of the story. The muted tones and sadness reflected in the movie's color palette provide a visual backdrop to the emotional drama.
In conclusion, "I've Loved You So Long" is a beautifully acted, poignant film. The story is sad but ultimately uplifting, and the viewer is left with hope for Juliette, a character who has gone through so much. The camera work is beautiful, the direction is excellent, and the performances are top-notch, particularly Kristin Scott Thomas. "I've Loved You So Long" is an emotional ride that gives viewers an insight into the trauma and real-life struggles faced by those returning to society after imprisonments. It tells a powerful human story that is well worth watching.
I've Loved You So Long is a 2008 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 55 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 79.