KIRK, YOU WERE RIGHT!
Frequent guest, Kirk Cooper, has been telling me to see this film since seeing it earlier this year. Well, I finally saw it and LOVED it! No bells and whistles, just a story that engages you with its simplicity and complexity. Simple, in the fact that it is the reunion of two sisters: Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) and Juliette (Kristen Scott Thomas). Complex, in the fact that Juliette has been in prison for 15 years. The wonderful script by Philippe Claudel (who also directs) begins with Lea picking up Juliette for an indefinite stay with her and her family (her husband, his father and their two Vietnamese daughters).
The trailer is very dramatic, but the film is not overwrought by emotions, has funny moments throughout, and the script is never cliched in any respect. As the story unfolds, we are allowed to fill in pieces of the puzzle that is the lives of these two separated sisters. Why was Juliette in prison? What has Lea's life been like growing up with a sister in jail? Are they still "sisters"?
Some questions are answered as the film progresses, some we just have to use our imagination and fill in ourselves, which is why you will not be able to forget this film. Philippe Claudel's script and direction are lean, and even at 115 minutes, this film does not seem long. Besides the brilliant performances by the two leads, the film is populated with a fantastic ensemble cast of actors that make their characters very believable. I was all set to roll my eyes at the two daughters in the film thinking that they would be the usual "love me I'm cute" screen children; instead, I received unspoiled, natural acting that is on par with the adult actors-- more from the older daughter (Lise Segur) as the younger is just a toddler.
Please go see this film and leave me a comment about your feelings.
Photo #1 Credit:Left to Right: Elsa Zylberstein as Lea, Kristin Scott Thomas as Juliette Photo taken by Thierry Valletoux, © 2007, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Photo #2 Credit: Left to Right: Lise Segur as P`tit Lys, Kristin Scott Thomas as Juliette, Photo taken by Thierry Valletoux, © 2007, Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics
Mongrel Media is the Canadian Distributor of I've Loved You So Long/ Il y a longtemps que je t`aime