Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Loved this movie...

OK, I know we don't all share tastes in things like music, tv, & movies, but I watched a winner last night. It was I've Loved You So Long starring Kristen Scott Thomas. I don't want to tell you too much about the plot, because the slow revelation of backstory was part of the brilliance of it for me, but here's the premise: Thomas' character, Juliette, has just been released from prison after serving 15 years. She's surprised and softened by the love of her younger sister, who takes Juliette in to live with her family until she (Juliette) gets back on her feet. I've talked with some of you about my love/hate feelings for the book My Sister's Keeper. Although that premise was interesting and I came to care for the characters, I left the book feeling manipulated by the author. I felt like some of the plot was contrived and twisted to wrench our tears in an unnatural way. I couldn't help but compare the two stories after watching this movie last night.
Both are about complicated relationships and roles, primarily motherhood and sisterhood. However, in Loved You So Long, the characters discover each other as we discover them. Their flaws, their strengths, their prejudices, their secrets and their growth are revealed in a slow, sometimes awkward, way, rather than huge, dramatic moments of angst and pain. When the heartwrenching moment comes (and boy, does it come: I sobbed), I feel like the writer earned my tears, rather than tricked them out of me. At the core, I think it is a story of healing. The acting was amazing. Juliette's cold personae leaves you dying of curiosity about her crime and wondering whether you should cheer for her or despise her. The Heartwrenching Moment I mentioned earlier is only aced by a scene between Juliette and her alzeihmer's stricken mother. It left me absolutely raw. And I loved listening to the French! Oh yeah, it's subtitled, if that matters to you. So, check it out and let me know what you think!

4 comments:

The Brandt Clan said...

I'll definitely have to go rent it now. Thanks!

Becky said...

I totally agree with you about My Sister's Keeper. Totally manipulative. The ending left me angry and I didn't shed a tear because I wanted to just throw the book across the room. The ending made the whole book pointless and pretty much pi**** me off! I will have to watch this movie and see what I think. I usually love stories about people and MSK held my attention until the end where, like I said, left me just mad!

Pascale said...

Jen, I've both seen the movie and read the book you're taking about and I feel like you've just written everything I felt about both of them! Loved the movie, LOVE Kristen Scott Thomas (she's so classy) and the moment with her mother did me in too.
If you liked that movie, you might want to rent Tell No One - Ne Le Dit A Personne. Another incredible french film, with KST in a great supporting role. A very intense storyline, but really strong acting, action, emotions and plot. I highly recommend it (although there are some graphic bits to it, so be warned!)
I read My Sister's Keeper when my boys were just 4 months old, and I totally felt manipulated as a mother by the whole story, and like Becky, really angry with the ending. I'v stopped reading Jodi Picoult novels, because although I get caught up in the characters, I tend to feel like the novels just follow a formula she's created and end up dissapointed with the ending.
If you're looking for a good summer book, I just finished reading The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, and it was a great read. Its a love story with a twist, a historical novel set in modern times. I read it in 4 days because I couldn't put it down.
Anyway, that's my two cents, sorry for going on and on!
Take care,
Pascale

roylaverne said...

Mom and I loved this one too and the hook for me was hope just around the corner out of tragedy -plus trying to piece it all together along the way. We didn't think of the same scene, however, as "the heartwrenching moment." Different significant turns in the movie had the greatest impact on each of us.