collin’s review published on Letterboxd:
At times Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles can be a chore to watch. And I mean that in the most literal way possible as most of the runtime is a poor single mother doing chores. However if you are patient and open to it, this becomes a hypnotic and very effecting piece of art. Everyone has felt like everyday is exactly the same or experienced themselves stuck in the same mundane daily rituals before but this film is that feeling to the extreme.
One gets the sense very early on that she's kind of checked out mentally and is performing all her functions on autopilot. She doesn't want to feel the personal shame of having to resort to prostitution and nannying just to make ends meet and feed clothe and take care of her kid who seems to resent her for it. It's implied that she was left by her husband to fend for herself and the boy. Once you get past the increasingly repetitive structure and framework of the film you start to realize what it's really showing you. How the stress pain anguish hate and bitterness she feels inside is growing with every passing day.
It's not a matter of if she snaps but when. The most unbearable part of it's colossal 3-and-a-half hour runtime is watching how far she bends before it happens. This is a crushing film that I could see people getting bored of quick but I found it completely fascinating and think there is nothing else quite like it.