Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
Directed by Chantal Akerman
Okay, I HAVE to bitch about the running time. You knew this was coming! How could I not? It is three hours and forty five minutes. I know this is because we are supposed to feel how mundane her life along with her. But I was bored by the twenty minute mark! The mission was accomplished fairly early; did I really have to sit there for four hours?
Jeanne Dielman has a very boring routine. She runs errands and cooks meals for her son. She also makes some money on the side by being a prostitute. Belle de Jour anyone? The film takes place over the course of three days. But I assure you, it feels like one hundred years.
I don't mean to be too harsh. I felt this movie, saw the beauty in it, and am glad that I watched it. But four hours is a damn long time. I have seen this praised as a feminist piece. That confuses me a little. I assume they are referring to the ending, which I won't reveal on here. Is it because she finally took control? I wouldn't exactly call her a role model...
Jeanne Dielman's ritualistic routine was inspired by the director's own mother.