Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

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

There’s a lot that can be said about the monotony of this film. It’s a decidedly long film that populates a lot of its runtime with simple and, more often than not, tedious activities. So much so that this film has seemingly gained a new life on the internet among film communities because of its reputation regarding its mundane nature. I’ve seen it called “housewife simulator” and many other, admittedly, funny titles. So, I mainly just expected something along those lines. 

However, I discovered very quickly into the film that there’s actual stuff going on here. I mean, sure, Jeanne Dielman literally just sits down and starts peeling potatoes with a crisp ninety-five minutes left of the film, but there is actual substance here. Everything is so mundane, but amongst all of that routine is some really distinct characterization. The film really takes its time to let you understand who and what we are looking at and to really establish itself. So that when its own rhythm and language is disrupted, it’s really effective and affecting. 

For a movie that largely consists of “nothing,” I don’t think I’ll be able to forget it anytime soon.

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