Il y a longtemps que je t’aime wraps shooting
by Fabien Lemercier
06/07/2007 - Sunday marks the last day of filming in the eastern French city of Nancy on Il y a longtemps que je t’aime (“I’ve Loved You for a Long Time”), the feature debut by Lorraine novelist Philippe Claudel.
Winner of the 2003 Prix Renaudot for Grey Souls [trailer] (adapted for the big screen by Yves Angelo in 2005), the writer has also recently participated in the adaptation of another of his films, La Petite Fille de Monsieur Linh, to be directed by Richard Berry in the autumn with Jean Reno in the lead role.
Starring British actress Kristin Scott-Thomas, Elsa Zylberstein, Laurent Grevill and Serge Hazanavicius, Il y a longtemps que je t’aime is a film about the complex relationship between two sisters.
Based on an original screenplay by Claudel, whose title is a reference to the nursery rhyme A la claire fontaine ("ll y a longtemps que je t'aime/Jamais je ne t'oublierai"), the film recounts the story of Juliette (Scott-Thomas), who after 15 years in prison returns to her hometown of Nancy. When she is reunited with her younger sister Léa (Zylberstein), with whom she stays, Juliette finds herself imprisoned by another pain and secret.
Meanwhile, Léa seems to lead a happy, calm and "normal" life with her husband Luc (Hazanavicius), two young daughters, many friends and an exciting job. Complete strangers to each other, will the two sisters end up getting to know each other again? And if one of them wants to, will the other one really share? Will Juliette learn to live again? Do we really know those close to us? And how can we become close again to those we love who have become distanced?
After two weeks in Paris, the six-week shoot in Nancy took place on the literature and human sciences faculty campus on the famous Place Stanilas, at the Excelsior, Musée des Beaux Arts and the swimming pool at Nancy-Thermal. Since June 18, the team has been occupying the Les Cigognes villa in the city’s Saurupt district, reputed for its houses built in the École de Nancy (Art Nouveau) style.
UGC, who is selling the film internationally, will handle its French theatrical release in spring 2008.
(Translated from French)