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I've Loved You So Long...
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I've Loved You So Long...

5.0 2
Director: Philippe Claudel

Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, Serge Hazanavicius


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Their relationship fractured when older sister Juliette is sentenced to 15 years in prison, two siblings wage an emotional battle to rebuild their relationship, overcome the secrets that keep them apart, and finally express the thoughts that have lain dormant for well over a decade. The moment Juliette was convicted, her parents declared that they wanted nothing to do


Their relationship fractured when older sister Juliette is sentenced to 15 years in prison, two siblings wage an emotional battle to rebuild their relationship, overcome the secrets that keep them apart, and finally express the thoughts that have lain dormant for well over a decade. The moment Juliette was convicted, her parents declared that they wanted nothing to do with her. Now, after 15 years behind bars, Juliette is a free woman and in desperate need of a human connection. When Juliette's younger sister, Léa, is approached by a prison social worker and asked if she would be willing to provide her recently paroled sibling with a place to live, she doesn't hesitate to open her doors and share her home. But Léa is happily married with two adopted daughters, and her husband, Luc, is uneasy with the arrangement. Still, the house is large, the couple is used to having company, and the two young girls are thrilled to have a new aunt. As Juliette gets settled, Léa does her best to make her feel welcome. Likewise, Léa's colleague Michel and emigrant couple Samir and Kaïsha also offer to help Juliette readjust to life on the outside. Along the way, Juliette slowly begins to emerge from her shell and Léa realizes just how much she missed her sister. Perhaps if she can put aside her feelings of guilt long enough to truly understand her sister's plight, these two strangers can finally remember what it means to be family.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
What probably surprised viewers about I've Loved You So Long was that it featured British actress Kristin Scott Thomas in a French-speaking role -- giving an award-worthy performance, at that. But French doesn't happen to be a particular hardship for the actress, a resident of France since her early twenties. More impressive is what she does with the role of a woman just finishing 15 years in prison for committing murder, whose victim should preclude her from any normal notion of audience sympathy. Granted, Juliette Fontaine has a more complicated story than the shocking black-and-white charges against her would suggest. But what's smart about Scott Thomas' performance is that she doesn't make a conscious play for the sympathy she'd be shown if the viewer knew the totality of her circumstances. She conveys oceans of ennui in a distracted glance, a terse/awkward verbal exchange, or a longing stare straight through the people around her, all without ever resorting to self-pity. Shrewdly, the script by director Philippe Claudel keeps the viewer in the dark about exactly what Juliette did, thereby rendering her crime morally irrelevant. The viewer has no choice but to meet her on the terms of her current existence, regardless of what she did in the past. In fact, it's to the film's slight detriment when all is revealed near the end, and her actions make more conventional sense. Scott Thomas' performance is buttressed by those of the actors around her, who grapple in different ways with their own compromises and losses, bringing marvelous complexity to their attitudes toward this problematic woman. The possibility of forgiveness is questioned throughout, and eventually, so is the need for it in the first place. If morality is all shades of gray in I've Loved You So Long, the film's quality is crystal clear.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Sony Pictures
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]

Special Features

Deleted scenes with optional commentary by director Philippe Claudel

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Kristin Scott Thomas Juliette Fontaine
Elsa Zylberstein Lea
Serge Hazanavicius Luc
Laurent Grévill Michel
Frédéric Pierrot Captain Faure
Lise Segur young Lys
Jean-Claude Arnaud Papy Paul
Mouss Zouheyri Samir
Souad Mouchrik Kaisha
Catherine Hosmalin integration counselor
Claire Johnston Juliette and Lea's mother
Olivier Cruveiller Gerard
Nicole Dubois hospital doctor
Patrick Bordes Patrick
Alain Buron Francois

Technical Credits
Philippe Claudel Director,Screenwriter
Jerome Almeras Cinematographer
Jean Louis Aubert Score Composer
Jacqueline Bouchard Costumes/Costume Designer
Virginie Bruant Editor
Stephane Brunclair Sound/Sound Designer
Samuel Deshors Art Director
Sylvestre Guarino Executive Producer
Alfred Hurmer Co-producer
Pierre Lenoir Sound/Sound Designer
Yves Marmion Producer
Françoise Menidrey Casting
Julien Zidi Asst. Director

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- I've Loved You So Long
1. Chapter 1 [3:48]
2. Chapter 2 [3:25]
3. Chapter 3 [3:30]
4. Chapter 4 [5:43]
5. Chapter 5 [2:02]
6. Chapter 6 [6:16]
7. Chapter 7 [4:13]
8. Chapter 8 [5:19]
9. Chapter 9 [3:19]
10. Chapter 10 [4:02]
11. Chapter 11 [1:56]
12. Chapter 12 [1:55]
13. Chapter 13 [5:22]
14. Chapter 14 [3:31]
15. Chapter 15 [3:06]
16. Chapter 16 [5:32]
17. Chapter 17 [4:49]
18. Chapter 18 [2:28]
19. Chapter 19 [3:29]
20. Chapter 20 [1:05]
21. Chapter 21 [2:23]
22. Chapter 22 [2:45]
23. Chapter 23 [5:25]
24. Chapter 24 [4:28]
25. Chapter 25 [5:37]
26. Chapter 26 [4:30]
27. Chapter 27 [2:44]
28. Chapter 28 [3:19]


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I've Loved You So Long... 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
RKaye More than 1 year ago
Kristin Scott Thomas is a master of understatement - any more subtle and stinging and she would be the human equivalent of a tiny wasp, who strikes before you even know you've been hit. In less flowery terms, she is very brave in her performance for how *little* she allows herself to do. Absent are the explosive emotional displays that another, less talented actress might have indulged in. Her volatile emotions sit just under the surface, as with someone who has everything to say but declines to speak. Every second she is on screen her pain is evident, but she doesn't need to tell us, and the sparse script works well in Thomas's favor. We can see that constant pain in every move, every tiny look, and hear it in even the simplest "No". The acclaim she received for this role is well deserved. Lest this just become a gushing ode to Thomas, it must be said that the entire film is subtle and aching. The camera watches the world as lazily as Kristin's character (Juliette), seeing everything of the film's beautiful muted world but detached from it. The other characters are just as engaging and sympathetic, written and performed with a softness and (to risk cliché) genuine realism as Juliette (the grandfather, who has lost the power of speech, is especially touching in a scene where he and his quasi-daughter-in-law sit in amiable silence, a scene in which the beleaguered Scott Thomas is finally able to visibly relax). The dialogue is artfully minimal and the scenes are balanced: a delightful weekend in the country set up against the tension-ridden dinner scene, for instance. Never are we (or Kristin, for that matter) allowed to wallow, nor are we able to feel completely safe, not with those ever-present emotions never quite contained beneath even the happiest moments of the film. It would not be unfair to liken it heavily to Rachel Getting Married in that sense, though Anne Hathaway's Kym is much less sympathetic and more aggressive than Kristin Scott Thomas's wounded, tight Juliette. Overall, an extremely worthwhile film, for its rich performances, subtly in script and visuals, and for taking on a very truly dark subject matter, along with the troubling array of emotions it involves. A must for any film lover, but especially one eager to explore the realities of facing the truth of life (good and bad) in the film medium. A near-perfect film.
Grady1GH More than 1 year ago
I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG ('Il y a longtemps que je t'aime) is novelist Phillipe Claudel's first screenplay (he also serves as director). If this film is an indication of the themes and stories he has to tell then a new and gifted artist has come our way. Claudel knows how to take his audience along what appears to be a very quiet film while at the same time drawing the viewer into a story that feels like quicksand, so surely and gradually is the powerful element of the story revealed. Juliette (a radiantly gifted Kristin Scott Thomas) has been imprisoned for murder for fifteen years and is released to the care of her emotionally estranged sister Léa (Elsa Zylberstein): when young physician Juliette was quietly sentenced to prison, the sisters' parents disowned Juliette and raised Léa as an only child, refusing to allow her to communicate with her older sister. Léa is now married to Luc (Serge Hazanavicius) and the couple has adopted tow Vietnamese girls: Léa did not want to give birth to a child (an early clue as to the horrors revealed ahead). Juliette is practically mute, so seldom does she converse, and Luc is worried about having Juliette in his house: the 'murder' for which Juliette uncontestedly was imprisoned was her six year old son. Juliette meets with her parole officer Capitaine Fauré (Frédéric Pierrot) who is supportive and shares Juliette's view of the world. She is interviewed and denied jobs because of her crime, but meets a few people with whom she can connect - especially the kindly Michel (Laurent Grévill). Gradually Juliette warms to her sister's family and to Léa to whom she tells the tragic facts of her past, facts that allow us to realize why Juliette is such a damaged creature. The profound acting performance by Kristen Scott Thomas is a wonder to watch. The entire cast to very fine but Scott Thomas is riveting in a story that in another's hands would not have gained our empathy to the extent she achieves. There is much social commentary in this film with many levels of meaning that only become apparent after the film is over. It is a stunning masterpiece and deserves the attention of everyone who appreciates quality cinema. In French with English subtitles. Grady Harp