I’ve Loved You So Long
Directed by Philippe Claudel
Two sisters reunite after one is released from prison.
I’ve Loved You So Long is “conventional in technique” but daring in execution, said Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. In this “thoughtful, provocative” French film, Kristin Scott Thomas plays a doctor, released from prison after 15 years, who sets out to rebuild her relationship with her younger sister and regain her place in society. In his directorial debut, French writer Philippe Claudel shows discipline in crafting a high-toned “adult melodrama.” He asks the audience to have patience as the story slowly unfolds, said Michael Phillips in the Chicago Tribune. In no hurry to explain why Scott Thomas’ character was imprisoned, Claudel keeps her secrets “artfully withheld” until an emotional conclusion. Ultimately, he “settles for a morally lightweight, dramatically facile explanation,” but the film’s shortcomings are compensated for by the “sheer force and grace” of Scott Thomas. Her lined and careworn face, bearing no trace of makeup, shows the hardship in her character’s past, said Leah Rozen in People. Playing a damaged woman who slowly reclaims her life, Scott Thomas “gives a heartbreaking, subtle performance that leaves a radiant afterglow.”