H D - S E N S E I

A view on Blu-ray by Gary W. Tooze


I've Loved You So Long aka Il y a longtemps que je t'aime [Blu-ray]


(Philippe Claudel, 2008)



Review by Gary Tooze



Theatrical: Sony Classics

Video: Sony Pictures


Region: 'A'

Runtime: 1:56:57.010

Disc Size: 30,457,888,815 bytes

Feature Size: 26,609,780,736 bytes

Average Bitrate: 30.43 Mbps

Chapters: 16

Case: Standard Blu-ray case

Release date: March 3rd, 2009



Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Resolution: 1080p

Video codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video



Dolby TrueHD Audio French 1275 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1275 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)

DUB: Dolby TrueHD Audio English 1324 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1324 kbps / 16-bit (AC3 Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 640 kbps)


English, none



• 7 Deleted Scenes with optional Audio Commentary by director Philippe Claudel (5:09)
Theatrical Trailer

BD-LIVE enabled





Description: Juliette Fontaine (Kristin Scott Thomas, Golden GlobeŽ Nominee for I've Loved You So Long, OscarŽ nominee for The English Patient) is a frail, haunted woman, an ex-doctor who's a shell of her former self. Having served 15 years in prison for an unspeakable crime, she's back on the "outside." With nowhere else to go, she comes to live with her loving but estranged sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein). Together the sisters embark on a painful but redemptive journey back from life's darkest edge in this gripping drama of struggle and salvation.



The Film:

The film explores the past at arm's length; everyone is afraid to discuss it, except indirectly. No one dares ask her straight-out questions. Families are like that. There's an elephant in a lot of living rooms. At a dinner party that begins on a cheerful but somewhat uneasy note, one of the guests takes almost sadistic pleasure in asking Juliette questions it is clear she will not answer. This is social sadism in the guise of innocent curiosity.

One of the few in Juliette's corner is her probation officer (Frederic Pierrot), who understands, as the others do not, what Juliette has gone through and what 15 years in prison really do to the human spirit. She has to learn to be released, to be free, to live her life without the unconscious air of someone afraid of being locked up again. Some people appear to be friends, but only want to help her up to a point -- for example, at her first job after prison.

Everything centers on Juliette. Her transgression was more unforgivable than what Rachel's sister did. Her feelings run even deeper. She has been away for longer and finds it more difficult to gather up the threads of life. This is one of Kristin Scott Thomas' most inspired performances. The Academy may get her confused with herself.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE



Image :    NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

Remarkably crisp image on this Blu-ray - so much so that it looks as if it may have been shot on DV - although I can find no evidence to support this and the 1.85 ratio disputes it. Detail is extremely impressive and gives the visuals some rich, 3-D, depth. Colors are also pristine with a softer palette producing consistent, gentle pastels. When the colors do get some life - they look all that more vibrant. Contrast seems some of the best I've seen in a while with pinpoint layering of dark and lighter levels. This dual-layered, Sony Blu-ray disc with over 26 Gig of space for the feature seems fairly flawless with a supporting bitrate. Outdoor scenes are bright and the MPEG-4 encode has done a magnificent job in recreating this awesome close-ups and high degree of sharpness. There is not a lot of grain or noise constricting the smoothness and this modern film appearance is wonderful indeed.

















Audio :

The Blu-ray offers TrueHD in both original French and an English DUB. The DUB seems poorly matched to the lip-sync (from what I tested) and we recommend the original French with optional white English subtitles. This is a heavy dialogue mood film with lots of quietness and no action of any notable nature. Jean-Louis Aubert's original score seems passive and soul-searching. I have no complaints with the audio rendering - the mix supports the film as it should. 




Extras :

Unfortunately Sony have skimped here with only some, less consequential, deleted scenes (7 of them) with an optional commentary by director Claudel. They run a short 5 minutes and there is a trailer, some previews and an untested, at the time of this review, BD-LIVE function. I've Loved You So Long is worthy of better treatment in the supplement department.


The transfer is so 'real' doing total justice the the human realism of the film. This Blu-ray has some spectacularly crisp images and may be one of the best looking that I have seen in a long while. This is a touching cinema experience with a strong performances by Scott Thomas - one of the best of last year. I've Loved You So Long is a must-see in my opinion and the impressive Blu-ray is the way to do it through your home theater. Despite the lack of viable extras it is still highly recommended!

Gary Tooze

February 21st, 2009





About the Reviewer: Hello, fellow Beavers! I have been interested in film since I viewed a Chaplin festival on PBS when I was around 9 years old. I credit DVD with expanding my horizons to fill an almost ravenous desire to seek out new film experiences. I currently own approximately 7500 DVDs and have reviewed over 3000 myself. I appreciate my discussion Listserv for furthering my film education and inspiring me to continue running DVDBeaver. Plus a healthy thanks to those who donate and use our Amazon links.

Although I never wanted to become one of those guys who focused 'too much' on image and sound quality - I find HD is swiftly pushing me in that direction. So be it, but film will always be my first love and I list my favorites on the old YMdb site now accessible HERE.  

Gary's Home Theatre:

Samsung HPR4272 42" Plasma HDTV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD player (firmware upgraded)

Sony BDP-S300 1080p Blu-ray Disc Player (firmware upgraded)
Sony DVP NS5ODH SD-DVD player (region-free and HDMI)

Marantz SA8001 Super Audio CD Player
Marantz SR7002 THX Select2 Surround Receiver
Tannoy DC6-T (fronts) + Energy (centre, rear, subwoofer) speakers (5.1)

Gary W. Tooze








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