I've Loved You So Long (2008)

Genre(s): Drama
Sony || PG13 - 117 minutes - $28.96 || March 3, 2009
Reviewer: Tyler Thomas || Posted On: 2009-03-12

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.:: F I L M ::.
The Film

.: F E A T U R E S :.

Special Features

.:: V I D E O ::.

.:: A U D I O ::.

.:: O V E R A L L ::.
Director: Philippe Claudel
Writer(s): Philippe Claudel (written by)
Cast: Kristin Scott Thomas

Theatrical Release Date: October 24, 2008

Supplemental Material:
  • Deleted Scenes
  • Theatrical Trailer

Technical Information:
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Widescreen (1.85)
  • English (Dolby Digital 5.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English

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.::THE FILM::.

Juliette Fontaine (Kristin Scott Thomas) is picked up by her sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein) after serving fifteen years in prison for a crime and taken to Leaís house to live. Juliette meets her family, including her father who suffered a stroke a little while ago and reads all the time, and her children who are rather rude and speak their minds. She isnít used to this sort of talking, and at the dinner table the conversation is rather awkward, as Juliette doesnít speak too much.

Luc (Serge Hazanavicius) is writing some sort of dictionary, who it turns out the kids are his from a woman he married from a long time ago. Luc doesnít like the idea of Juliette living with them, as the whole transition might be too much for her to handle, and the family seems to be hiding some sort of secret as well. Lea and Luc bicker about her being there, and Luc eventually drops it but not before hinting about what happened years ago before Lea cuts him off before he can tell us what happened. This happens periodically throughout, it does get a bit annoying, but it does build to a nice climax when we do figure out what happened.

Juliette is forced to report to the police station every two weeks as terms of her release from prison, and Luc talks about the past. Luc asks if sheís mad at her for not visiting her in prison, which Juliette says isnít a big deal, since there were a few visitors at the start but then they slowly stopped coming. At the police station, the officer asks if she has a job yet, and Juliette says sheís looking for one. The officer tries chatting with her but she shuts him down rather coldly each time a conversation tries to start up. Juliette sees Luc at college that day, and she introduces her to a fellow colleague Michel (Laurent Grevill), who tries to flirt with Juliette but gets shot down like everyone else does.

Julietteís life gets worse before it gets better, as a social worker visits the home to make sure everything is okay. I say worse because she hates talking to people, and also has a confrontation with one of the children, in which she yells at the child who is only trying to be friendly to her. Luc and Juliette have a conversation at the table, which Juliette learns that Luc couldnít have children which is why they tried to adopt, and we also learn that Juliette is the reason to blame for this.

She goes to try and get a job that involves a lot of typing, as she is good with computers and typing. The man who is interviewing her sees that she was in prison, and badgers her to tell him what she said. We find out what exactly Juliette did (I wonít spoil it), which causes the man to lash out and her and ďkindlyĒ tell her to get out. Even more depressed about her life, she goes to a bar and meets a man who she ends up sleeping with. The man asks if it was good, to which she replies ďno, not really.Ē

Can Juliette adapt to a life outside of prison and move on from her past, or will it continue to haunt her for the rest of her life?

I donít know why, because normally I enjoy foreign films, but this one I found to be boring and not that entertaining. The story is a bit convoluted, the characters not forthcoming with details about the past, and the script isnít good either. Kristin Scott Thomas is great in this film, but she canít save an entire movie based on her acting. It also runs a bit too long, clocking in at nearly two hours. I honestly think at least twenty minutes could have been cut, mainly dealing with the beginning of the movie and the officer flirting with her throughout the movie.


Deleted Scenes w/Optional Commentary (6 minutes): A collection of eight scenes that werenít in the film and donít contain an English audio track, but instead get English subtitles. These are short and brief, and donít add much to the movie itself.

Finally, the filmís Theatrical Trailer has been included.


Right from the start, there are noticeable issues with black levels and contrast. Contrast is heavily off, as the black levels are too much and cloud scenes with dark tones. This causes the colors to be lighter than they should be, and at times a few scenes suffer from it. As though this happens throughout the film, I canít really say that many good things about the transfer. Even though itís set in a beautiful location, itís not noticeable due to the plaguing issues from contrast.

The audio side doesnít fare as well either, as though this was originally done in French language and dubbed over for the English language. The audio is off, obviously, and at times is a bit distracting to see the lips moving and the audio not matching up with it. This is understandable though, but could have used a better syncing process for it. Surrounds were also rarely engaged, and levels were low throughout. Not a great Dolby Digital 5.1 track by any means.


Iíve Loved You So Long is a movie that Thomas is great in, but that doesnít mean much when everything else just doesnít work. The special features are basically empty, and the technical side is fairly weak. I canít recommend even a rental for this one unless you just have to see it, as though this is one movie to not love.