Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles

Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles ★★★★★

An exercise in patience and empathy, “Jeanne Dielman” might be one of the most quietly influential films of its era. 

Instead of combat and explosions, “Jeanne” makes a symbolic meal out of a twenty-minute scene showing the preparation of veal cutlet. And another depicting the making of beef and potatoes. 

“Jeanne” is intensely feminine (made with a woman director and all female crew); transposing the weight of importance away from war and into the empty home. It asked a generation audiences and directors to re-evaluate their scale of consequence to the more minute and personal. 

“Jeanne” also excels in depicting the ascribed weight to just a single small thought that; when left alone to reverberate, can burrow its way through the tiniest aspects of routine and cause a monumental shift. The only way to know that this seismic change is unfolding however, might be in a single button left undone.

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