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4.4 out of 5 stars114
4.4 out of 5 stars
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VINE VOICEon 13 August 2009
It's a rarity nowadays, but films like these really make you think about life, and how we perceive things, like whether this blu-ray is a classic, well I think it is, because after renting it, I ordered it, and that's a rarity for me. This film touched me, the sincerity, the fact it's not all coloured to suit the cinema, and the fact it's not glamorised or dressed up, and covered in make up make this a real treasure - and finding it has really opened my eyes to the way we perceive life, our bond with family, and the way we see criminality.

Kristin Scott-Thomas is amazing as Juliette - a red-eyed timid woman who has come back to the family after being away for so long, and coming back to Léa's home, and we see how Juliette rebuilds her life, and how she feels in life - all beautifully told without special effects, which makes this such an important piece of cinema for me. The realness, tenderness, and almost classical way of direction, photography and script really put this above anything else - this is surely in my top ten.

This Blu-Ray really does the film justice too, the beautiful colours flow nicely on-screen, and the picture is sharp - and the sound is excellent, though I found the PCM track too quiet on my system, so I used the surround sound 5.1 - which is ample in my opinion. The subtitles (which I didn't use) were clear and well set out on the picture, and the framing is perfect.

The extras - though not many are just superb, an interview with Philippe Claudel, writer and director is quite compelling, and lasts over an hour. There are something like 5 deleted scenes, and to me they were really not needed - so good call by Claudel.

This really is a masterpiece - the whole crew have done such a superb job. Don't rent this, buy it, you'll never regret it. Wish I could tell you more about the movie, but that would spoil it and I feel that would be criminal to do so.
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on 9 April 2010
Reading some of the poorer review markings I felt obliged to comment.
First of all, if you buy a Euro region DVD and it doesn't play in your American DVD player, that's your fault not the film's.

Secondly, remember this is a French film. Subtitles are never a substitute for the real thing and there are many subtleties in the dialogue that are not and can not be expressed in subtitles, also if you don't have the correct screen size you will only see the top of the titles. I wonder if this is what happened with one of the other reviewers.

Thirdly, and this is my main point: this is one of the best films I have ever seen. At the beginning I felt dread as the main character was left alone with children, but as the story developed - slow yes, but deliciously slow - I became aware of the true nature of this woman. Symbolism was strong in this film, the visit to the art gallery in Nancy was for me a highlight of the film.

This is a truly moving film, if you don't find it so you are missing something.
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on 6 August 2009
As a french customer, I was particularly pleased to find this extremely moving film transfered on blu-ray (not available in France) with an excellent quality which Kristin Scott Thomas deserves most of all for her exceptionally moving performance in this film. What a pity this wonderful and sensitive actress had not gained the very first rank amongst the worldwide acclaimed stars ! As Elsa Sylberstein is excellent too, and the whole cast on a vey good level, all the subtle feelings that talented Philippe Claudel wished to put in this film are magnificently enhanced.
A must have to see and see again !
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French film has a tradition of featuring bourgeoises whose lives are very different from most of us. They have safe jobs that permit them many of the luxuries of life, they discuss politics and the arts over dinner, and they spend the weekends in the country in lovely old country houses; life, in short, has built them to worry about something less mundane than everyone else. Out of this soup of convention pops a chewy bit in the shape of Kristin Scott Thomas, a woman with a Terrible Past encountering the difficulties of getting a job as an ex-con and to re-entering non-institutional life. It is as if Mike Leigh has invaded Eric Rohmer. Scott Thomas does very well at projecting repressed anger, sadness and fragility against a background of normality. She wanders along holding up a mirror to the rest of the players; the tragic policeman always searching for the Orinocco, the pathetic boss encouraging teamwork with a threat, the liberal brother-in-law with more than a hint of the Daily Mail in his responses. The denouement is satisfying but charged with emotion and played by the two sisters to perfection.
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VINE VOICEon 10 April 2009
10 out of 10 in every respect. One could argue that this is a bit of an arty film. There is no tense build up to any major climax per say.
The story revolves around Julliene (Kristen Scott Thomas) who is reunited with her sister after spending 15yrs in jail. It largely follows her budding relationship with the family and her return to the world after such a long time away.
The only 'intrigue' (it can hardly be described as such) is the gradual revalation of why she was in prison. I use the word intrigue lightly because after a while it becomes reasonably obvious.
Kristen Scott Thomas's acting is oscar worthy without a doubt. She conveys all the emotions of her character so well not only through dialog but body language.
A relatively slow going but moving movie about relationships and the return to life.
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"I've Loved You So Long," ("Il ya longtemps que je t'aime") (2008) a French-speaking feature film, a drama/ mystery, and an exemplar of French "intimisme,"was first released in March 2008 in Belgium. It stars one of everyone's favorite English actresses, Kristin Scott Thomas (Four Weddings And A Funeral [DVD] [1994];The English Patient [DVD] [1997]). As a DVD, it comes to us, fortunately enough, with a choice of subtitles, or dubbed English. But back to Scott Thomas; what a bang-up year the woman has had, what with "I've Loved You So Long," and its close companion feature,Tell No-One (Ne Le Dis A Personne) [DVD] [2006], also in French, which also achieved art house release here, probably due to her presence in the cast. She has married a French citizen, I understand, and taken up residence there, which goes to explain her sudden presence in French movies.

The film, which was nominated for two Golden Globes, was written and directed by Philippe Claudel: it is ably carried by the superior acting of Scott Thomas, who surely deserved her Golden Globes nod, and ought, perhaps, to have done even better than that. It concerns Juliette Fontaine, a frail woman, and a trained doctor, struggling to adjust herself to life, and her family, after having served 15 years in prison for the death of her son. Many scenes are heart-wrenching tennis matches, between Scott Thomas, and Elsa Zylberstein, who plays her sister Lea, and never misses a shot, either. I'd have to characterize it as a woman's picture, and a weeper, as well, emphasizing, as it does, children, emotion, love and other feelings. I was moved by the film's emphasis on these verities: to me, they are the straw we need to build the bricks that make our lives worthwhile: and while I'm at it, let me add that I doubt any audience member would ever think the intelligent Scott Thomas would commit the crime for which she has been jailed without an overwhelmingly good reason. But she surely does work up a head of emotional power, and, for an actor who began her career as a light comedienne, can now lay claim proudly to that traditional French theatrical title of acclaim: "tragedienne." Can literature's classic roles, such as Medea and Phaedra, be far behind?
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on 11 February 2009
This is a wonderful warm and amazing movie. Its a simple story of a woman trying to re engage with her own family and society after a long absence. I dont want to give any thing away about why the main character has been away. Its so wonderfully done, slow and meaningful and searingly powerful. Its the little details that give this movie so much power. I cant remember any recent movie I have seen that left me so moved. Kristin is a towering actor, truly awesome, I cant think of any other actor who could have carried off such a demanding role with such insight & grace. Spell binding cinema, this kind of movie defines what movies should be about. I cant commend it highly enough. Work of genius. All the ensemble characters are all wonderful as well.
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on 3 October 2009
Firstly, try not to read too many of the reviews of this film posted here as they give away more than they should. To truly enoy it and benefit from it you have to watch it unfold with out knowing too much.

It is an excellent film. the story line, on the surface, is straightforward as the history of what happened becomes apparent. It coves a topic that is always contentious and splits opinion. Saying that the film isn't really about that debate, it is more to do with someone coming to terms with something happening in their life that is so significant it has a major impact on so many lives. It is warm and engaging, never moving too slow + the acting is really brilliant especially K.S. Thomas.

Highly Recommended
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Juliette (Kristin Scott Thomas) has been away for many years and has come to live with her estranged sister in France. Juliette is withdrawn and silent and only slowly adapts to her new life. Over time, we come to know where she's been and why she is so traumatized.

This French film has an intimate, art house-feeling to it; it's all about unraveling Juliette's secret in spite of her sullenness and silence. Thomas, who often plays disdainful posh women, is wonderful as the haunted Juliette. We sympathize with her even before we learn her secret; afterward, we feel her pain and loss. Though Juliette is a woman of very few words, her tortured face reveals the agony within.

The story is a moody mystery with touching performances and a poignant script. If you love the pretty French children's song, "A la Claire Fontaine," you'll be humming it for days after watching this movie. It's sad and delicate and will have you wondering what you would do in Juliette's situation. In French with English subtitles (I tried listening to it in English but thought it was much better in French, and Thomas' French is very good.)
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on 26 March 2009
I thought this was a very moving film and showed how you can move from total despair and depression to a state of hope for the future. It shows that true love wins through no matter what you are led to believe. The younger sister's love for her sister allowed her to accept her whatever the crime she had committed. It is an excellent lesson for not jumping to conclusions and judgements.
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