Sunday, November 9, 2008

Go see "I Have Loved You So Long": c'est magnifique!

Today I went to see Il y a longtemps que je t'aime (I Have Loved You So Long). I’ve read several reviews that raved about it so I went with some skepticism. No need. It is so very good. I highly recommend it.

To generalize wildly ... there are two kinds of European arty films:
  • ones that tell the story slowly and are boring
  • ones that tell the story slowly -- but with great precision and artfulness -- and puts me on the edge of my seat -- my attention is razor sharp wanting to catch every moment
Il y a longtemps que je t'aime is like the second kind. The director tells the story just so ... with small (and large) surprises along the way. Several scenes are only about 30 seconds long. So much told in those seconds. Artfully told. The actors are their characters -- deeply so. The writing is crisp as toast.

The story is about a woman, Juliette, (played by Kristin Scott Thomas) who has just been released from 15 years in prison. She was convicted for murder. She is picked up by her much younger sister who has a family. Juliette goes to live with her sister. Her sister’s family is interesting: husband, husband’s father who cannot speak due to a stroke, and two adopted daughters (around 8 years old and 3 years old). At least one of the daughters is from Vietnam (maybe both).

I will say no more. Do not read any articles about this movie that will reveal more than I have. You want the story to unfold while you’re sitting in the theater -- not before you go.

If Kirstin Scott Thomas does not win the Oscar for this, I will weep ... and be resentful for days.

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