Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★½

I was thinking of writing a review that just said "I love her" because I really fucking do but I also need to show my respect for Akerman. The way she establishes a formula with the scene progression - showing same angles over and over again - and ties it with the routines is masterful. Then when the routine starts falling apart in small moments she shifts gears in what and how she shoots. Cuts become a little more frequent, choice of where the camera is placed differs, Seyrig's movement and space in the frame changes and her actions become uncontrolled. When those potatoes got spoiled I started panicking like it was the end of the world. But it's all so sudden and then everything seemingly goes back to normal (her routines and the shooting style). Yet you know Jeanne is now on a turning point so you start observing even more closely and paying even more attention to every gesture Seyrig does. The film is over three long hours and yes I looked at my phone a couple of times but Akerman doesn't lose your interest. Despite jarring and minimal depiction of Jeanne's jammed daily life there is a lot of unexplained things. Already the premise of shooting routines makes you ask why are we seeing this and what does it tell of our character? The inclusion of a dead husband, adolescent son, different male clients and then a distant aunt combined with the blue neon lights or holding shots in the dark create an intriguing atmosphere that add to the sad mystery of Jeanne. I had something more but I forgot what it was.

Anyways, I love her.

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