Monday, 20 September 2010

I've Loved You So Long (on DVD)

These days, it’s rare to find a film which puts any trust in the intelligence of the audience. Even the most well intentioned real life dramas spend a lot of screen time directly explaining, in dialogue between characters, every step of the story in case the audience are not able to follow the plot. It’s a shame that this has become such a prevalent trend. It shows a lack of faith from the film industry towards their potential customers. It also means that dramas of high quality, such as I’ve Loved You So Long, are rare.

I’ve Loved You So Long puts trust in the audience’s ability to pull together the details to understand the film as the stories unfolds. Information on the underlying family mystery is presented to us not merely through the usual, overdone, method of dialogue but also through visual and emotional means. Film is a visual medium after all and to not make full use of that is to undermine the medium itself.

Kristin Scott Thomas is excellent in her role of Juliet. We learn a lot about her character through what she doesn’t say, refuses to say at times, and expresses in silent but emotional reaction to the others around her. Books and reading are made into themes, or recurring symbols, in the film. Something which is appropriate since the film is like a visual novel, using literary techniques of a novel to gently expound the inner life of the central characters. I’ve Loved You So Long therefore touches our emotions in a subtle but very strong way and the ending becomes deeply emotional.

To say any more would be to start to give away the plot. I can’t recommend this DVD enough. It’s probably Kristin Scott Thomas’ best film role to date.

[Photograph copyright by the film makers].

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