As Juliette, Kristin Scott Thomas is first seen in closeup without makeup, her hair lustreless, her expression blank but tense. Juliette has completed a prison sentence of fifteen years for committing the unimaginable crime of murdering her six-year-old son. Her kid sister, Léa (Zylberstein), a literature professor at a university in Nancy, nervously lets her into her own family, where Juliette remains in an uneasy state of semi-silence. Written and directed by the novelist Philippe Claudel, the movie asks whether anyone who has done something so extreme can be welcomed back into the human community. And does she want to be welcomed back? Claudel dramatizes Juliette’s slow reawakening with an infinite number of small, sharply etched details. The secrets that are finally revealed have the curious effect of making one want to see the movie again immediately, in order to study Scott Thomas’s immaculate performance.
David Denby, The New Yorker
Kristin Scott Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, Serge Hazanavicius, Laurent Grévill