Women On Film – “I’ve Loved You So Long” on DVD – Jennifer Merin reviews

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This moving French film about the reunion of two sisters long separated by circumstances and guilt is must-see cinema.

Juliette Fontaine, an ex-doctor is released from prison after 15 years of incarceration for an unspeakable crime. With nowhere else to go, she moves in with her sister Lea, and her family. There are painful confrontations, but in reconnecting with each other, the sisters restore each other.

Kristin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein are magnificent as Juliette and Lea.

Filmmaker Philippe Claudel’s script is flawless, his superb direction captures the richly nuanced nature of his characters and their complex problems. Claudel’s contemplative pacing so camoulages inherent tensions that you don’t realize you’ve been gripping the edge of your seat and holding your breath until you get to the film’s emotional climax.

The DVD release gives audiences outside the art house circle a chance to see this great film. It also provides two excellent extras: a number of deleted scenes with Claudel commenting on them gives you insight into his directorial style, and the English language version featuring Kristin Scott Thomas’ voice gives you the opportunity to forego subtitles if you choose to do so. The DVD streets March 3.

Meanwhile, read full reviews by AWFJ members Claudia Puig and Susan Granger and see which seven AWFJ members included “I’ve Loved You So Long” on their Top Ten Lists.

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