'I've Loved You So Long' Registers with a Range of Dramatic Magnitude

City Pulse | October 25, 2008
Kristin Scott Thomas gives a beautifully transcendent performance as Juliette, a woman who goes to live with her slightly younger sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) and her family after serving 15 years in prison for murder. Defeated and insecure, Juliette gradually gets her footing in modern French society while reaching a sense of resolution with Lea that comes with a full explanation of her terrible crime. Debut writer/director Philippe Claudel is adept at adding emotional filigree to the solid three-act structure. He's even better at giving his actors room to make the slight adjustments that fulfill Juliette's promise of transition. There's so much emotional shading and so many unconventional aspects to it that the film registers with a range of dramatic magnitude. Scott Thomas is a revelation as a French character, and the added dimension reflects well on her as a master interpreter of human behavior.

(Sony Pictures Classics) Rated PG-13. 117 mins. (B+) (Four Stars)
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