This was one of my favorite films that I saw last year, but I noticed that Ari didn’t like this much, so I thought I’d start a thread where we—and others—could discuss it.
Kristin Scott-Thomas’ performance is what gets attention (and it is a good performance), but I also think the direction and script deserve equal amount of attention. The way the mystery of the main character gradually unfolds is a big reason this film worked so well for me: it gives you just enough information to satisfy your curiosity and at the same time brings up new questions that you want answers to; the filmmakers don’t give just the right amount of information, too.
From the get-go, this film had my attention—and it’s because of Scott-Thomas. There’s something irresistable about a troubled, beautiful woman. The great thing about her performance is that you know there’s a lot going on inside this character (even though there are no obvious indications). It really makes you want to know what she’s thinking about, what’s she’s feeling and why she’s feeling that way. As I said, after this opening scene, I think the film does a terrific job of gradually revealing these answers.
Anyone else like this film?
I also thought it was a good film. I seem, too, to remember that I thought it had a few missteps or at least scenes where I thought doing it differently would have been better. Maybe a discussion will help me remember those bits.
Agree on Scott-Thomas’s performance. Right off you realize that her whole experience has messed her up somehow, but it isn’t clear how. So I thought there was a continuous tension about, as she took each small step to try and rebuild a life, is this going to work out? Hmm, so I guess I agree with you about the roll out.
My only disappointment was the reveal of why her character did what she did, as, to me, this was unnecessary. Up to that point, I figured the film would be about the person as a person, acknowledging that actions can rarely be simplified to singular motivations. The acting and interactions, I felt, gave the characters enough emotional importance to render the explanation insignificant. I can see, however, how without considering the strength of the cast there might have been concern about this being unfulfilling without the explanation to justify her actions in the minds of viewers.
Obviously Kristin Scott Thomas excelled, but I was not at all impressed by the film itself. I screened and reviewed the film when it came out, and while my review goes into more detail, this is the crux of my opinion:
“Loved is a strong Thomas vehicle, but beyond that is little more than a director’s first effort, plagued by those forgivable, if taxing, amateur errors: 1) beat-by-beat training wheel progression of events, 2) a virtual complete lack of cinematographic artistry, 3) unnecessary edits lacking emotional impetus and, 4) a wimpy acoustic guitar score that your college freshman roommate surely wrote. It isn’t awful, I suppose it’s a passable essay to the instructor. There’s no question that Thomas has succeeded at playing a woman whose spirit has been extinguished – my nitpicky criticism is only that her performance alone doesn’t make me want to watch the film again.”