I’ve Loved You So Long

Rated 4.0

A woman (Kristin Scott Thomas) gets out of prison after serving 15 years for the murder of her little boy and goes to live with the family of her younger sister (Elsa Zylberstein), painstakingly rebuilding her own life from the little she has left. Writer-director Philippe Claudel’s film is no murder mystery—in fact, the explanation of the crime, when it comes, doesn’t quite ring true. What does is the ambience Claudel creates, delicately layered and laced with the unexpected. Thomas, with her limpid, wounded eyes and brittle, angular physique, is the movie’s face, while Zylberstein is, in a sense, its mainspring. The two actresses are a close physical match, and the younger woman’s goodness shows us what she sees in her older sibling; her need to reach out drives her, and the movie as a whole.