In between my lesson which made me feel like a stupid dunce and my tutorial which made me feel like an inferior child, I had 3 hours to kill and so went to the Phoenix to see 'I've Loved You So Long'.
'I've Loved You So Long' is a French film that stars Kristin Scott Thomas and some actors I don't recognise, directed by Phillipe Claudel. I also hadn't heard of him, but a trip to IMDB tells me that this is his first film.
This film has had rave reviews, and with such a convenient time to be showing just down the road from where I was with 3 hours to kill, why the fuck not, eh? The film centers around Juliette(KST), a woman who's returned to France to live with her sister after being released from prison in the U.K. (I can't remember now if this is actually said or merely implied.) It's about her path to regaining her life, and the impact this has on her & the family she is staying with.
I can see why this film has had good reviews. Kristin Scott Thomas is excellent in the lead role, and the rest of the cast are very good too. It deals with the issues of social stigma and rehabilitation in quite a frank and honest manner. And it all looks very nice (and for most of the film Kristin Scott Thomas looks pretty hot).
But there's just something about the film that makes it pretty boring. The whole "Ooooh, I wonder what she's done?" aspect feels like it's drawn out too long considering it's pretty obvious quite early on what she was imprisoned for. The whole "But why did she do it?" angle feels like it's been written in purely because this film for the most part doesn't ever seem to be going anywhere, certainly not towards anything like a natural conclusion, and they needed some sort of payoff. It's as if the film writer/makers really wanted to study the main themes of the film, but had no idea how to actually do it. What this has resulted in is a film that for the most part either says the same thing over & over again in slightly different ways, or seems to say nothing at all.
But hey, it's French right? That means that the critics will cream themselves over the overlong scenes, the downbeat tone, the amusing asides and the whole damn Frenchness of it regardless of it's actual content, or lack of.
For me this film was a big let down. There is a REALLY good idea here, but for my money (£4.50! Being a member of the Phoenix rules! When was the last time you paid under a fiver to go to the cinema?!) it's handled pretty badly.