Director: Philippe Claudel Screenplay: Philippe Claudel Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein Time: 115min Age Restriction: 13
I've Loved You So Long is an intriguing and thought-provoking study of a convict's return to society and the journey beyond the walls constructed around a woman's heart.
I've Loved You So Long is a French film that was released in 2008, but has only made it onto South African screens now. I've been dying to see it, ever since I first heard about it and I was not disappointed.
Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) is an Anglo-French convict who has just been release on parole after 15 years in a French prison.
She goes to stay with her sister, who is several years younger than her, while she tries to get back on her feet and find a job.
It is not until late in the film that the audience discovers why Juliette was in prison, but the hints dropped throughout create a deep tension and a high level of high suspense. The audience is drawn into an internal debate, trying to figure out whether Juliette is really a monster or whether there is more to the history of this quiet, unassuming woman than meets the eye.
I've Loved You So Long is quite a harrowing film experience, with a relentless honesty, but there are moments of such sweet humour that relieve and reward the viewer, while creating a strong rapport with the characters.
Kristin Scott Thomas is one of my favourite actresses – there's something absolutely captivating about her; when she's on the screen, you hardly take note of anything else. For that very reason, she fills Juliette with a grace and mystery that makes I've Loved You so Long one of the most empathetic films I've ever seen.
I've Loved You So Long is now showing at the Labia theatre on Orange Street and the DVD is available from Take 2.