I've Loved You So Long tells the profoundly moving story of two sisters rediscovering their feelings of family after years of separation. Immediately following her release after serving a fifteen-year prison sentence for committing an inexplicable crime, Juliette reunites with her sister Lea, having not seen her since she was a child. Lea, who is now married with two adopted children, warmly accepts her older sister into her home, doing everything she can to reconstruct their stunted relationship. When asked by her elder daughter where her “auntie” Juliette has been all these years, Lea replies that she had gone away to England. In her early attempts to readjust to society, Juliette makes several new acquaintances, including a friendly but depressive parole officer and a colleague of Lea's who develops a strong attraction to her. As Juliette struggles to find and maintain a job, overcome her demons and keep her dark secret under wraps from her sister's gossipy social circle, she finds it increasingly difficult to adapt to her newfound freedom.
Scott Thomas gives what can best be described as a career-defining performance, and Zylberstein has an equally commanding presence that greatly enhances the two characters' dynamic sibling relationship. Writer and first-time director Philippe Claudel has crafted extremely smart dialogue and visually gratifying compositions. Taking flight from the sisters' relationship, Claudel's film reaches beyond family drama to craft a sophisticated examination of forgiveness.