Release Date: Oct. 24
Director/Writer: Philippe Claudel
Cinematographer: Jérôme Alméras
Starring: Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein
Studio/Run Time: ?Sony Pictures Classics, ?117 mins.
Novelist’s film debut allusive, ambitious
After a successful literary career in his native France and a stint as a professor of literature, Philippe Claudel has ventured into film with his first directorial effort. I’ve Loved You So Long—the story of two sisters who hazard a reconnection after the older sibling has been incarcerated for 15 years—is rife with allusions to literature and overloaded with water motifs and the notion of family. Kristin Scott Thomas’ haunted, Oscar-worthy turn (as the convict struggling to assimilate back into the world) conveys unspeakable pain and guilt through her gaunt visage and thousand-yard stare. Relying on Alméras’ static camera, Claudel sometimes shoehorns in too much peripheral suffering. Ultimately, he defuses the horror of the unspeakable crime, the sisterly tension unclenching without much in the way of true catharsis.