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Movie Review: I've Loved You So Long (Il Y A Longtempts Que Je T'aime)

Alternate Title: Reconciliation

Story: How does a woman reconnect with her family, herself and the world after spending 15 years in prison for murdering for young son? Can her family forgive her? Can we forgive her? Do we want to forgive her? That is the essence of this wonderful film by writer and director by Philippe Claudel. I implore you to find this film and see it as soon as you can.

Juliette is released from prison and goes to live with her much younger sister, brother-in-law and their two young children in Nancy, France. I will not reveal much more of the plot because part of the enjoyment of this film is to experience the unfolding of Juliette's character, experiences and re-emergence.

The film is about loss, shame, anger, despair, family, devotion and resurrection. I cared deeply for every one of the main characters and got lost in this beautiful cinematic experience. The film requires some patience as it slowly develops but the reward is worth your time.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlMPS_qcRaM

Acting: Kristin Scott Thomas as Juliette, will tear you apart. She is manifique. Her bare bones performance will stick with you for a very long time. Elsa Zylberstein as her younger sister, Léa, is perfect and engaging. The rest of the cast is terrific too.

Trivia: Writer/director Phillippe Claudel is best known for his novel "Grey Souls" (2003) and is a Professor of Literature at the University of Lyon. British actress Kristin Scott Thomas considers herself more French than English. She has worked with three of the fine Fiennes family, co-starring with Ralph in The English Patient and with Joseph in Man to Man and being directed by Martha in Chromophobia. She also played the mother to Scarlett Johannson twice, once in The Horse Whisperer, and again in The Other Boleyn Girl.

Predilection: None

Critters: A monkey in a sad looking zoo exhibit.

Food: Lots of yummy French food including quiche.

Sex Spectrum: No actual sex scenes shown but a pivotal post-coital moment.

Opening Titles: Simple type superimposed over the opening sequence of the two sisters reunion.

Visual Art: France always looks good. The French have excellent taste and the interiors reflect that taste. There are several scenes that take place in a Museum featuring paintings by Emile Friant.

Theater Audience: Fairly crowded.

Sappy Factor: Not an iota of sap.

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I was riveted throughout.

Predictability Level: I was hopeful but really did not know what to expect.

Tissue Usage: I welled up a bit towards the end.

Oscar Worthy: Absolutely. It would be a crying shame if Kristin Scott Thomas did not get an Oscar nod for her brilliant performance.

Big Screen or Rental: Big screen for sure.

Length: Two hours.

LOBO HOWLS: 9