Jeanne Dielman, 23, Quai du Commerce 1080 Bruxelles

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

This is not the most entertaining portrayal about the tedium of existence I have ever seen, but it's certainly the most effective. Jeanne Dielman is about a woman living in a colorless, lifeless apartment doing the same dull chores every single day like a robot. She has no day job so just spends her time cleaning, shopping and taking care of her son whose appreciation is never seen. Her routine is boring, repetitive and grating, and as we are confronted with this fact in long, drawn out scenes of quiet servitude and nothing else happening, we become restless. Not just us, but Jeanne herself too, who slowly starts showing cracks in her cold facade. This entire film is an exercise of endurance to see just how much ingratitude, lovelessness and emotional distance a person can take. And the film's form resorts to a lot, and I mean A LOT, of deliberate mundanity to achieve this. Jeanne Dielman is, objectively, a pretty damn boring movie, but it's also a 3 hour long thought exercise and even a near meditation-like experience that makes us reflect about our own lives, and hopefully (if we're anything like the son in the film) appreciate what boredom and indignity our loved ones go through to provide for us.

There's definitely a strong feminist element to this as well, specifically the themes and conversations about sexuality in this film are skewed and feel 'off' and uncomfortable. Jeanne's position in life makes us understand entirely why she isn't looking for a new man, she's already miserable enough and a lot of it is men's fault. The climax is a thought provoking mix of empowerment and tragedy which will linger on the viewer long after this interminable, depressing film is over.

TL;DR: I should call my mom

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