Thursday, 30 October 2008
Il y a longtemps que je t'aime
My cinema going, once fairly obsessional, has ground almost to a halt, with the growing realisation that 'losing myself', being emotionally manipulated to identify in the particularly powerful way that film invokes, no longer appeals to me all that much. The few films I do see are usually French - their focused, small-scale, highly crafted articulacy still does it for me sometimes.
Il y a longtemps que je t'aime / I've Loved You So Long is a wonderfully satisfying example of this kind of film-making, with Kristin Scott Thomas in the performance of her life, quietly, often silently, spellbinding in almost every scene. Receiving the performance through the vehicle of her French, which sounds like mine - pretty convincing, but a few ineradicable English vowels - made it particularly touching, I think. She haunted my dreams the night I saw it, and will for a while.
Here's an informative review and a trailer from The Guardian. And another good review from John Baker - I don't agree with John (I often do agree with him) about the ending as a weakness: I think catharsis and redemption, not realism, are the intent, and the film worked well for me on that level.