Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

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

A clear masterwork in its own way. But that way is also a story that is slow and prosaic beyond belief.

For nearly two whole hours viewers watch Jeanne Dielman go through all the carefully arranged, perfectly maintained routines of her day to day life. In almost complete silence. 

Things like making the bed, shining shoes, washing the dishes, folding napkins. All until the first really major plot point of interest pops up: she overcooks a pot of potatoes and has to go buy more. 

That’s the kind of scope and tempo that you’re looking at here. The filming and acting, costumes and sets are all meticulous and perfectly staged. Everything feels like it might be meaningful. Which gives the movie just that slight edge of tension I need to see it out. Even if it’s absolutely nothing, I want to know what does happen to her. 

But, that’s a lot of dedication to ask of most viewers, who could save themselves some time and do a bunch of their own housework in the time it’d take them to watch this.

Ultimately going to give this a 4/5 for personal enjoyment just because it ends on such a strong note but it takes every last ounce of 3.5 hrs to get there, so be warned.

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