SPOILERIFIC I've Loved You So Long Thread

Big Magilla
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:58 am

Two Women is available in various public domain versions. The one I have isn't bad. I think it contains both versions.

The funny thing is that Two Women was originally released in the U.S. in the dubbed version. I saw the film so many times while ushering in the early 60s but I could never tell whether she was yelling "dirty rotten bastards" or "dirty Russian bastards" and neither could anyone I talked to about it. I finally got the answer when I read the subtitles on the dubbed version but now I can't remember which it was. I think it was "Russian".
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Postby flipp525 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:53 am

Big Magilla wrote:
flipp525 wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:I think the film would have worked better if Kristin Scott Thomas' "secret" has been known to the audience from the beginning. Nevertheless it's a great performance. Watch it a second time now that you know the outcome and you'll see it in a different light.

The DVD features an optional English dubbed track which is a little disconcerting at first because Scott Thomas is the only only who dubs her own voice but the performance sounds (at least to me) to be even more nuanced in English. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is dubbed by Hollywood Central Casting. They don't even pretend to be French or even British to match Scott Thomas' accent.

I think it would have been more effective if her 'secret' was a result of misplaced rage or an accident. That would have really tested the audiences sympathy, and provided the film with a far more believable ending.

Agreed. I think she should've shook her baby to death.

And Magilla, what was the point of watching a dubbed version of this film exactly?

I often watch films I've seen in their original language in the the dubbed version on DVD or vice versa. Sometimes I watch them with the subtitles. I get a kick out of how the subtitles, which are usually faithfully translated, and the spoken English dialogue differ, the latter often colloquialized, if not completely dumbed down for American audiences though sometimes the words are changed just so they'll fit the mouthings of the actors.

Okay, fair enough. I made the mistake of watching a dubbed version of Two Women with Sophia Loren once and it was such a horrid experience I vowed never to do it again.
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."

-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Mar 09, 2009 9:21 am

flipp525 wrote:
Precious Doll wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:I think the film would have worked better if Kristin Scott Thomas' "secret" has been known to the audience from the beginning. Nevertheless it's a great performance. Watch it a second time now that you know the outcome and you'll see it in a different light.

The DVD features an optional English dubbed track which is a little disconcerting at first because Scott Thomas is the only only who dubs her own voice but the performance sounds (at least to me) to be even more nuanced in English. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is dubbed by Hollywood Central Casting. They don't even pretend to be French or even British to match Scott Thomas' accent.

I think it would have been more effective if her 'secret' was a result of misplaced rage or an accident. That would have really tested the audiences sympathy, and provided the film with a far more believable ending.

Agreed. I think she should've shook her baby to death.

And Magilla, what was the point of watching a dubbed version of this film exactly?

I often watch films I've seen in their original language in the the dubbed version on DVD or vice versa. Sometimes I watch them with the subtitles. I get a kick out of how the subtitles, which are usually faithfully translated, and the spoken English dialogue differ, the latter often colloquialized, if not completely dumbed down for American audiences though sometimes the words are changed just so they'll fit the mouthings of the actors.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Postby flipp525 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:16 am

Precious Doll wrote:
Big Magilla wrote:I think the film would have worked better if Kristin Scott Thomas' "secret" has been known to the audience from the beginning. Nevertheless it's a great performance. Watch it a second time now that you know the outcome and you'll see it in a different light.

The DVD features an optional English dubbed track which is a little disconcerting at first because Scott Thomas is the only only who dubs her own voice but the performance sounds (at least to me) to be even more nuanced in English. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is dubbed by Hollywood Central Casting. They don't even pretend to be French or even British to match Scott Thomas' accent.

I think it would have been more effective if her 'secret' was a result of misplaced rage or an accident. That would have really tested the audiences sympathy, and provided the film with a far more believable ending.

Agreed. I think she should've shook her baby to death.

And Magilla, what was the point of watching a dubbed version of this film exactly?




Edited By flipp525 on 1236601012
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby Precious Doll » Mon Mar 09, 2009 1:59 am

Big Magilla wrote:I think the film would have worked better if Kristin Scott Thomas' "secret" has been known to the audience from the beginning. Nevertheless it's a great performance. Watch it a second time now that you know the outcome and you'll see it in a different light.

The DVD features an optional English dubbed track which is a little disconcerting at first because Scott Thomas is the only only who dubs her own voice but the performance sounds (at least to me) to be even more nuanced in English. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is dubbed by Hollywood Central Casting. They don't even pretend to be French or even British to match Scott Thomas' accent.

I think it would have been more effective if her 'secret' was a result of misplaced rage or an accident. That would have really tested the audiences sympathy, and provided the film with a far more believable ending.




Edited By Precious Doll on 1236582661
"I have no interest in all of that. I find that all tabloid stupidity" Woody Allen, The Guardian, 2014, in response to his adopted daughter's allegations.

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Postby Big Magilla » Sun Mar 08, 2009 5:17 pm

I think the film would have worked better if Kristin Scott Thomas' "secret" has been known to the audience from the beginning. Nevertheless it's a great performance. Watch it a second time now that you know the outcome and you'll see it in a different light.

The DVD features an optional English dubbed track which is a little disconcerting at first because Scott Thomas is the only only who dubs her own voice but the performance sounds (at least to me) to be even more nuanced in English. Unfortunately the rest of the cast is dubbed by Hollywood Central Casting. They don't even pretend to be French or even British to match Scott Thomas' accent.
“‎Life is a shipwreck, but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.” - Voltaire

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Postby Uri » Tue Dec 02, 2008 4:26 pm

flipp525 wrote:I supposed it's too suble for the Academy to recognize, but I thought the makeup artist did an excellent job of imprinting on Kristin Scott Thomas the years spent in prison, wallowing in guilt. She was almost sallow in appearance and quite wan. Or is that just her look now?

She is a 47 years old European actress who looks like a 47 years old woman.

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Postby flipp525 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:37 am

I supposed it's too suble for the Academy to recognize, but I thought the makeup artist did an excellent job of imprinting on Kristin Scott Thomas the years spent in prison, wallowing in guilt. She was almost sallow in appearance and quite wan. Or is that just her look now?
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby Uri » Sat Nov 22, 2008 5:51 am

What a dishonest, self righteous little movie this is. I'm sure all those middle aged Washingtonians Flipp saw the movie with went home feeling mighty well about themselves. Not only did they went to see a subtitled FILM, they were also able to feel compassionate toward the convicted murderer of a protagonist (she's really English, you know, what a great actress). Even before the revelations at the end, mind you! And they all voted for Obama. What a liberal fest of a month November '08 turned out to be.

I practically agree with what you've both said. Not only both Scott Thomas and Zylberstein were good (and equal co leads, by the way), they were extremely believable as sisters. And since for me this is the Holly Grail of what casting is about, I was more willing to appreciate this movie than usual. And the little girls were also totally believable as Léa's adopted daughters as well. But more about them later.

Saying that, I was somehow under helmed by Scott Thomas here. It's not that this is not an extremely fine tuned, perfectly reserved, quietly sly, at time almost amused performance. It certainly is, as one has learned to accept from this highly intelligent and subtle actress. (Ok, not when she's trapped in a Hollywood tearjerker, having to fake an enthusiasm toward an aging Alfa mail star, nor unwilling to fake the artificial giddiness expected of a guest in an American talk show). But in a way it's a routine turn for her. And she was more complex in a similar role in the TV series Body & Soul, were she played a nun who's forced to leave the convent she's been in for many years and live with members of her family and face the outside world.

As for the Big Revelation - the best thing to do was of course to respect the choice Juliette made and not give us any explanation. In a way, the movie turned into something like that good for nothing cliché social worker who pissed Juliette with her petty, hypocrite attempts at empathy, while all she was after was the dirty, creepy details of what happened. But we knew what she was from the moment we saw her, didn’t we? She was fat, for God's sake. Obese. It's really this kind of movie – self congratulatory for being open minded and enlightened only to time and again slip into revealing its reactionary true nature.

And nowhere more so than when it's about Léa's children. Firstly, they are used as one of the clues to her being an advanced, open mined and compassionate person. As Woody and Brad know, exotic kids are the ultimate accessories for the chic, liberal woman. That's perfectly fine with me. But. We are told that because of what Juliette did, the reason Léa didn't have children of her own was she was somehow afraid that killing one's offspring was a tendency that runs in the family (a dumb reasoning to begins with, but never mind). If that was the case, shouldn't she avoid having children of any kind at all? Or could it be that adopted children, certainly second rate ones like these, are not to be seen as real ones, so a parent is allowed to have that certain amount of detachment needed in such a case. And further more, this frame of mind is the key to the implied Happy Ending one can dwell in. Now that she knows her sister should have been canonized instead of being sent to jail, Léa, being young enough, can go on and have as many real, A grade children as she like. Fade out.




Edited By Uri on 1227361608

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Postby flipp525 » Sat Nov 22, 2008 12:47 am

I've Loved You So Long is playing at only one theater in Washington -- the Avalon on Connecticut Avenue, a theater built in 1922 that still retains much of its original style and decor. I had never been there before nor even knew of its existence before tonight. Closed for a couple years in the late 00's, it re-opened in 2003 on almost the sole support of a strong fundraising community effort which raised over $1.3M dollars for its renovations and upkeep. Tonight, however, the boiler had broken down again, so my friend and I sat amidst an overwhelmingly older crowd in almost 45 degree cold. It was an interesting environment to view such a cold, impersonal and distant film, anchored on the strength of Kristen Scott Thomas' "Absent One" performance. It's her best work by far.

Scott Thomas' Juliette is unglamorous, and sullen, almost consumptive-looking. Her appearance suggests years of shutting down, a lack of light, sleepless nights clutching the photgraph and poem beneath her pillow to avoid the nightmares. She drifts through her world like a ghost and the actress' inherent vacancy fits into the role in a perfect way.

I have to admit that I was expecting something a little bit different at the end. The screenplay goes to great lengths to avoid showing any direct confrontation between the sisters until the end, only peeling away the layers of Juliette's crime and incarceration slowly through indirect. With such a slow unspooling, I was preparing myself for something much more shocking than a fairly standard euthanization plotline that, as Mister Tee pointed out, is full of vast holes in logic. The climax is so dramatically and artificially heightened, the details of Juliette's "big confession" so fractured and vague, I half expected Léa, or even the mute grandfather to ask plaintively on one of his index cards, "so that's the big secret?!"

I didn't think it was necessarily a scene the audience had to be dropped into the middle of either, having waited almost the entire film for its arrival. Not only did I want to be there for the beginning of that scene, I wanted to see Juliette's face finally crack, break down out of the absent malaise she'd been trapped in for the majority of the film.

With all that said, both actresses absolutely shined in their final moments and the proud declaration of Juliette finally being present in her own life was surprisingly hopeful without sacrificing elegiac tone of the whole.

Besides the obvious standout performance of Scott Thomas, studied and measured belying an unimaginable heartbreak, I thought Elsa Zylberstein did an excellent job of portraying the odd and challenging dynamic of essentially beginning a relationship with a totally new person.

By the way, kudos to the actress playing Léa and Juliette's mother. I was genuinely taken aback when she suddenly, out-of-nowhere, remembered Juliette and clutched at her for dear life. In that moment, in a sense, she became the only person from her past who didn't see her as an ex-con. I had even considered the possibility of the mother recognizing her earlier when it was first mentioned she lived in a home in their town. It still took my breath away.




Edited By flipp525 on 1227372048
"The mantle of spinsterhood was definitely in her shoulders. She was twenty five and looked it."



-Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell

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Postby Mister Tee » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:32 pm

This isn't the sort of film that usually rates a thread all its own, but since it has an ending that's in vague "surprise" territory, BJ and I agreed we'd only discuss it specifically within a labeled spoiler thread. I presume at least a few others will also eventually see the film, for the touted Scott Thomas performance, and they can join us when they do.

Okay, so: when the movie starts, we know Scott Thomas has been away for quite a while. We fairly quickly get the idea she was in prison. We're then told it was because she killed someone. A further, blockbuster detail is added: she went to prison for killing her young son. This fact stands alone and unexplained for about the next hour, until, in the film's final minutes, we get the explanation that the kid was ridden with a sure-to-be painful and fatal disease, and Scott Thomas, a doctor, essentially euthanized him.

Needless to say, this last revelation is supposed to change our entire view of Scott Thomas' character -- although I think the film has been rather encouraging us to expect something like this, given her otherwise rather exemplary behavior during the time covered by the film. Not that she's socially-adjusted -- she's obviously something of a basket case when it comes to personal interaction -- but there's no moment when she behaves in a way that suggests she's pathological.

Neverthless, the writer/director seems to have intended this long-withheld back story as some sort of ultimate mitigating circumstance -- something that'd change everyone's view if only they had known all along. My problem is, I don't see how, within the world of the film, this detail could have been kept a secret. Yes, it has been laboriously established that the sister was too young to understand, and kept apart from details. And Scott Thomas is said to have, as an act of apparent on-the-spot guilt/atonement, refused to defend herself or offer any explanation at trial.

My big problem (and I'm probably playing the role that Hitchcock used to sneer at as "our old friends The Plausibles"): When this kid turned up dead, the first thing the authorities would have done was order up an autopsy, which would have instantly revealed the child's fatal disease. Knowing Scott Thomas was a doctor, they'd have figured out the reality before sunrise. And there's no way all this could have been kept entirely secret. Once out, it would have, at minimum, attracted a loud cadre of Kevorkian-ites eager to use it as a test case for physician-assisted suicide, and become a media cause celebre. Even if the end result (a 15 year prison term) had been the same, the publicity-level would have been vastly different -- which is to say, every one of her sister's friends would have known her name the way we know Hedda Nussbaum, Squeaky Fromme, or (for old-timers) Kitty Genovese.

So the movie exists on a weird level. I really like the moment-by-moment behavioral observation on display. I love the sibling relationship and how it grows. As I was watching, I was completely engrossed, and moved. But all this fine work is being done in the service of a story that's so hopelessly, awkwardly contrived that it dissolves on the slightest analysis.

And, as BJ mentioned in the other thread, nothing is more awkward than the key clue that unravels everything -- a medical report (with all the essential explanatory info) that Scott Thomas has saved because her child wrote a poem on the back of it just before she killed him, and which her sister conveniently finds. (Worse: we had an early "foreshadowing" of this element, when the cute-as-a-button Vietnamese daughter offered to read Scott Thomas a poem, and Scott Thomas shrilly refused -- one of the only short-of-believable moments in Scott Thomas' performance)

There may be more to say, but this should get the discussion rolling.




Edited By Mister Tee on 1227325027


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