I’ve Loved You So Long
This is the debut film of novelist Philippe Claudel which gained enormous success upon its release in France and was acclaimed at the 2008 Berlin Film Festival.
Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) and Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) are sisters who have been estranged for 15 years. They are reunited when Juliette comes to stay with Lea and her family.
Whilst Lea is more than happy to have Juliette in her home, her husband Luc is wary about having this stranger joining his family. Their close friends also ask questions as to why they never knew Lea had such a beautiful sister hidden from them for all these years and what could she possibly have been doing?
The many layers of this movie are exposed with the introduction of each character and their untold stories.
This is a beautiful film. It is subtle and simplistic. As the characters and the scenes unfold before you it has you wanting to know more, wanting to be there. The music picks up on the feelings and moods and enhances the emotions portrayed by the actors.
Claudel has commented “My desire was, as for my books, to make a film which can touch different audience categories. Some people will see it the story of two sisters trying to become close once again, others will be more interested in the theme of incarceration. Some will focus on the rebirth of a woman, while others will watch the life of a family confronted with the unspoken, dark secrets … One can have a simplified reading of it or one far more intellectual. I didn’t want to lock myself in a genre in order to be closer to the diversity of life, which has always counted for me. … I wanted to tell a strong, sensitive, sincere story, optimistic despite its tragic starting point … I hope that its a film of love, imprinted with humanity, and whose emotion will long endure in the hearts of the audience.”
This is a film that will appeal to a wide audience. It has stayed with me, gently floating along with me and like a good book I just want to be able to pick it up and devour another few pages.
Reviewed by: Linda McGlynn
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, Serge Hazanavicius, Laurent Grevill
Directed by: Philippe Claudel
Genre: Mystery, Drama
Duration: 1hr 57mins