Milez Das (Rohit Shivdas)’s review published on Letterboxd:
It is getting very difficult for me to find the right words to describe this movie. For a long time I wanted to watch this but the runtime of 210 minutes prolonged it.
Jeanne Dielman is a single mother whose husband had died six years ago. We are into her life, sitting at a distance observing her, doing her daily chores. From getting up, to making coffee, polishing her son's shoes, making errands, cooking, eating...etc.
We are in her life for three days. In these 3 days we see a pattern going on. Jeanne is organized, might have OCD, turning lights on and off entering a room and leaving it. Doing everything at a precise time. But on the second day a simple thing gets disorganized and from there Jeanne has some alterations to her life and an ending you won't imagine.
Jeanne Dielman is something playing like a documentary or a art installation even a play. It is something I have quite never seen yet we might see and experience in our surrounding but in a different manner.
What makes this movie a masterpiece is the reality and surrealism it has. You are watching a daily chore and that too for 210 minutes and still you are so invested that you forget you are in home watching this on your laptop. One of the scenes which I was really invested in was when Jeanne on the third day drinking coffee and for the first time I think she knows she has made a mistake in making it, she throws it out and starts to make again, slowly pouring the hot water in the coffee filter, tasting the milk. These little things and the detailing of this movie is just so brilliant. I mean look at kitchen, it is so well organized. Every item is placed in a manner of need.
There are very little little things you have to take notice in Jeanne;s behavior. Like her hair is a mess, or getting to a place too early or a little late. Then the potatoes overcooking scene.
I don't really know how to put her sex life in context here. It is like her daily chore, yet looks really uneventful. She takes the money, putting it in a bowl .
Oh and yes, I wanted to smack that son of hers. I mean he could atleast help her out in little things. I mean he is in his teens and still can't polish his shoes. He can help her cleaning the plates, or organizing the bed. I mean he doesn't even put out his tomorrows clothes.
Akerman has made something that is beyond my vocabulary. I have tried putting it in words, but still think it is really less. This is a movie that interprets your own experience with Jeanne. You might see it differently and conclude something different altogether.
Delphine Seyrig as Jeanne Dielman is just extraordinary. She is in total skin of this character, every detail of this character she plays it to perfection. She just was Jeanne Dielman.
Jeanne Dielman 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles is something you have to experience, whatever you have heard about his masterpiece is true and more. Just get the 210 minutes of your life and watch this. Even if you don't like it, it will still an experience of Cinema you wont get for a lifetime.
The ending I still can't get it out of my head and I don't think it will be out soon.