If you considered Rachel Getting Married too boisterous with its brash characters and ethnically diverse wedding, the French have an alternative take - it has the same narrative structure, but with none of the American noise.

If you considered Rachel Getting Married too boisterous with its brash characters and ethnically diverse wedding, the French have an alternative take - it has the same narrative structure, but with none of the American noise.

Like Rachel, I've Loved You So Long is about a woman being released into the care of her sister following a family tragedy, but the French version is a little quieter and more introspective. That isn't necessary in its best interest.

For most of it, no one dares ask Juliette (an excellent Kristen Scott Thomas) about the darkness in her past, mostly at the insistence of her kindly sister Lea (a scene-stealing Elsa Zylberstein).

However, that doesn't mean Lea and her husband are about to trust Juliette with their adorable adopted Vietnamese daughters. She is, after all, still an ex-con and the film never lets Juliette forget it - or the audience, for that matter.

Writer Philippe Claudel, also making his directorial debut, is in no rush to grant Juliette an ounce of forgiveness. Moving at a snail's pace, the first half of the film leaves her preoccupied with her inner thoughts, which doesn't make for exciting viewing.

It isn't until an awkward dinner party that Juliette is forced to deal with her past, which allows the film to loosen up a bit and the two actresses to truly make this movie unique and inspiring.