Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
[Kristin Scott Thomas] keeps a tight rein on her melodramatic instincts throughout. Then, at precisely the right moment, the character's delayed release becomes the audience's gratification.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
Thomas plays Juliette as if she's trapped within her own body too, gradually learning to navigate her old world. Her performance gives life to a taut narrative.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
The film is a tease, with a cheat of a final disclosure, but Philippe Claudel's direction is both probing and delicate, and Scott Thomas's face, even immobile, keeps you watching, searching for hints of her character's past.
J. R. Jones,
Philippe Claudel is a successful French novelist, so it's odd that his filmmaking debut suffers more from narrative than cinematic flaws.
Wall Street Journal:
Philippe Claudel gives his heroine unusual depth, which Kristin Scott Thomas reveals with unusual passion, and he fills the world around her with characters who bespeak a novelist's fertile imagination.
An uneven new French film that plays like a companion piece to the recent British drama Boy A.
Jonathan F. Richards,
This is a thriller, though, in the sense that it is a thrill to watch Scott-Thomas give one of the finest performances of the year.
The film deftly sketches a sibling relationship complicated by obligation, guilt, mistrust, and, not least, an abiding love.
Despite its flaws, the movie pulls you in with its squarely realistic setting and subdued performances. Best of all is Thomas.
Thomas packs infinite amounts of nuance and agony into such moments, and after a while she outraces the movie itself.
Los Angeles Times:
I've Loved You So Long is the kind of film America's moviemakers have all but given up on.
Thomas gives it her all, uncorking every ounce of emotion she'd held in check, with Herculean restraint, over the better part of two hours.
Christian Science Monitor:
It would be easy to overrate I've Loved You So Long, which often dampens its best effects with undue tastefulness, but the image of Scott Thomas, with her despairing resilience, stays with one.
The story is a luxurious mess of woes. But dramatic resolution is almost beside the point when Scott Thomas and the precise, birdlike Zylberstein engage in such attractive flights of performance in service to sisterly love.
Solicitously shepherding us into the shallows of the therapeutic women's novel, Claudel tamps down his magnificently intransigent Hedda Gabler, and makes her gently weep just when she should be baying at the moon.
In a few moments the British actress, playing a haunted woman named Juliette, will begin speaking French, but in these moments her face reveals more than any dialogue.
You may need to see I've Loved You So Long twice in order to see it once.
New York Daily News:
Scott Thomas breathes more emotion into Juliette's affectless, haunted demeanor than most actors do with pages of dialogue.
New York Post:
You'd have to be made of stone not to weep at the confession that caps I've Loved You So Long.
New York Observer:
This is an amazing film for a directorial debut, but Mr. Claudel eschews sentimentality with what practically amounts to quiet heroism.
New York Observer:
Mr. Claudel has made a grown-up film for our troubled time, and created a beautiful rapport between two gifted actresses.
In a profession that routinely casts aside leading ladies when they hit 40, it's a shame a great one had to take her act to France to remind us that actors, like wines, only improve with age.
Kristin Scott Thomas gives a performance that is so chilling, so braced in pain that it's almost impossible to bear. Almost impossible, because, in fact, it's impossible not to behold this riveting piece of role immersion.
I've Loved You So Long is the kind of film that will bore to tears those who do not enjoy simple, unforced character dramas.
San Francisco Chronicle:
Kristin Scott Thomas' performance in I've Loved You So Long is one of a small handful of highlights by which people will remember this year in movies.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
I've Loved You So Long is about the repercussions of tragedy, the difficulty of being supportive, the need for patience in the face of despair. Without saying much, Scott Thomas carries the entire enterprise on her slender shoulders.
Globe and Mail:
Without Kristin Scott Thomas, I've Loved You So Long would be a watchable but hardly a memorable movie.
Like a good book, I've Loved You So Long unfolds in chapters. And when it ends, you close the cover with emotion and reluctance.
Claudel understands that his drama lies in letting two superb actresses build their characters, forge their relationship and examine their grief.
The New Republic:
[The] final twist undoes the film to some degree, [but] it cannot undo Scott Thomas's performance, one of the marvels of this, or any, cinematic year.
Writer/director Philippe Claudel knows just how to structure a character study of this sort, so that key elements and important secrets are revealed over time, piquing our interest.
Scott Thomas is aces in the lead role, with flashes of mordant wit that prevent it from becoming a dreary study in self-pity.
[An] exquisitely rendered story of reconciliation and redemption, which has something of a thriller's structure but is really all about relationships.