"Heartfelt Drama, Sloppy Story"
What You Need To Know:
The acting by Kirstin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein as the two sisters is remarkable. The story, however, lacks plot structure and logic. The mystery of why Juliette killed her son is illogical and the circumstances contrived. The movie’s focus is really Juliette re-entering society and re-connecting with her sister after 15 years in prison. As the characters struggle with big issues of life and death, they never mention God or speak of faith in any way. On the other hand, Lea’s sacrificial care for her sister is commendable.
(PaPa, H, B, C, L, S, A, DD, MM) Strong mixed pagan worldview with humanist elements where characters rely on each other in the face of death, murder and forgiveness rather than God, mixed with moral examples of loving kindness and grace; six light obscenities and no profanities; no violence; implied sexual relations between strangers; no nudity; drinking of wine; pervasive smoking; and, a past event of euthanasia is revealed, and there are negative parental role models.
I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG is a French movie about a woman named Juliette, who goes to live with her sister Lea after 15 years in prison for killing her young child. At first, viewers don’t know why Juliette is so cold and distant. Slowly over the course of the movie, the movie reveals what she did and why she did it. The movie is less about Juliette’s past than it is about Juliette’s response to her sister’s undeserved kindness so she can recover from prison and become fully alive again. Juliette meets a man with whom she may form a relationship. She also connects and becomes a loving aunt to her two newly-met nieces.
The acting by Kirstin Scott Thomas and Elsa Zylberstein as the two sisters is remarkable. Much is communicated by looks and silences. The directing is sure handed. The story, however, is lacking in plot structure and logic. The mystery of why Juliette killed her son is finally revealed at the end after much build up. However, her reason is illogical, and the circumstances contrived. It’s something of a letdown. The movie’s focus is really Juliette trying to re-enter society after 15 years in prison and the reconnection between Juliette and her sister. It doesn’t justify what Juliette did. Instead, it tries to reveal Juliette’s motive, though it doesn’t succeed in doing that.
I’VE LOVED YOU SO LONG is a bit slow for mainstream audiences, though this is common among European movies. There are many long establishing shots and sequences of characters going about their daily life with not much dramatic happening. Perhaps, however, it’s this slow pace that makes the emotionally charged scenes all the more dramatic.
As the characters struggle with big issues of life and death, they never mention God or speak of faith in any way. It’s a world completely dependent on one another and not on God. On a positive note, Lea’s sacrificial care for her sister is commendable. There is some mild foul language and no violence or nudity. There is, however, one scene of implied fornication between Juliette and a stranger she meets in a café.
This is a movie that demands careful discernment.