Writer-director Philippe Claudel's gets the best out of Kristin Scott Thomas as the key protagonist of his compelling and affecting drama, cleverly using her usual cold screen persona to superb dramatic effect.
She gives her finest screen performance to date as Juliette who, freed from prison after 15 years, goes to live with her younger sister Lea (Elsa Zylberstein), where she gradually starts to thaw from her emotional straitjacket. Claudet's fine screenplay adds considerably to a moving story as he gradually reveals more facts about Juliette's crime, causing the audience to continually reassess its view of the characters.
homas is superb as she agonizingly thaws, while Zylberstein is equally impressive in a much less showy role. But there are no poor performances in a powerful drama whose impact lingers long after the end.