8.0/10
4,059
40 user 54 critic

Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975)

Not Rated | | Drama | 21 January 1976 (France)
A lonely widowed housewife does her daily chores, takes care of her apartment where she lives with her teenage son, and turns the occasional trick to make ends meet. However, something happens that changes her safe routine.

Director:

(as Chantal Anne Akerman)

Writer:

Reviews
Popularity
3,212 ( 6,718)

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

'Je' is a girl voluntarily lock up in a room. 'Tu' is the script. 'Il' is a lorry driver. 'Elle' is the girlfriend.

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Chantal Akerman, Niels Arestrup, Claire Wauthion
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Chantal Akerman, the Belgian filmmaker, lives in New York. Filmed images of the City are accompanied by the texts of Chantal Akerman's loving but manipulative mother back home in Brussels. ... See full summary »

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Chantal Akerman
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Anna, a detached and diffident director, arrives in Germany to show her latest film; she checks into a hotel, invites a stranger to her bed, and abruptly tells him to leave. He asks her to ... See full summary »

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Aurore Clément, Helmut Griem, Magali Noël
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

Dr. Henry Harriston is a successful psychoanalyst in New York City. When he is near a nervous breakdown, he arranges to change his flat with Beatrice Saulnier from France for a while. Both ... See full summary »

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Juliette Binoche, William Hurt, Stephanie Buttle
Short | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A young girl shuts herself away in her apartment and goes about her business in a strange way, as she wastes the night in her apartment.

Director: Chantal Akerman
Stars: Chantal Akerman
Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

In a strange and isolated chateau, a man becomes acquainted with a woman and insists that they have met before.

Director: Alain Resnais
Stars: Delphine Seyrig, Giorgio Albertazzi, Sacha Pitoëff
Documentary
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Hotel Monterey is a cheap hotel in New York reserved for the outcasts of American society. Chantal Akerman invites viewers to visit this unusual place as well as the people who live there, from the reception up to the last story.

Director: Chantal Akerman
Satantango (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Plotting on a payment they are about to receive, residents of a collapsing collective farm see their plans turn into desolation when they discover that Irimiás, a former co-worker who they thought was dead, is coming back to the village.

Director: Béla Tarr
Stars: Mihály Vig, Putyi Horváth, László feLugossy
Gertrud (1964)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In the elegant world of artists and musicians, Gertrud ends her marriage to Gustav and takes a lover, the composer Erland Jansson

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Nina Pens Rode, Bendt Rothe, Ebbe Rode
Comedy | Drama | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Cleo, a singer and hypochondriac, becomes increasingly worried that she might have cancer while awaiting test results from her doctor.

Director: Agnès Varda
Stars: Corinne Marchand, Antoine Bourseiller, Dominique Davray
Ordet (1955)
Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

Follows the lives of the Borgen family, as they deal with inner conflict, as well as religious conflict with one and other, and the rest of the town. The various events that unfold throughout the film tests all of their faith and beliefs.

Director: Carl Theodor Dreyer
Stars: Henrik Malberg, Emil Hass Christensen, Preben Lerdorff Rye
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

In Paris, the pedantic Alexandre lives with his mate Marie in her apartment, an open relationship. Alexandre, who is idle and chauvinist, spends his days reading, drinking and shagging ... See full summary »

Director: Jean Eustache
Stars: Bernadette Lafont, Jean-Pierre Léaud, Françoise Lebrun
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Jan Decorte ...
Sylvain Dielman
...
1st Caller
Jacques Doniol-Valcroze ...
2nd Caller
Yves Bical ...
3rd Caller
Edit

Storyline

Jeanne Dielman, a lonely young widow, lives with her son Sylvain following an immutable order: while the boy is in school, she cares for their apartment, does chores, and receives clients in the afternoon. Written by Volker Boehm

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

21 January 1976 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Jeanne Dielman  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was shot with an all-female crew. See more »

Goofs

In one scene in the kitchen, the thermos is on the window ledge but appears on the table when the camera cuts to a different angle. See more »

Quotes

Jeanne Dielman: [about her food] I added less water than last week. Maybe that's why it's better.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Queen of Earth (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Bagatelle for Piano
Composed by Ludwig van Beethoven
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
about everyday things, or an action movie
15 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Few films can actually claim originality: some early on may have pioneered techniques or acting styles, but as has been said before and again there are only so few stories to tell. It's the variation that counts, and as a variation on the 'everyday grind' as it were, Jeanne Dielman is one of the most original breakthrough films one could experience. It's three and a half hours of, as one might say, nothing "happening". The story is the woman, what she does, the ritual of her given tasks in silence, loneliness, a widowed mother who cooks, cleans, shops, eats, sleeps, bathes, and wits without a seeming challenging thought to perceive.

You will know within fifteen minutes if you can stick with it. Ideally one wont watch this right before bedtime, but Chantal Akerman makes sure that her audience is tuned in to her experiment (or not, as some have noted). I imagine she would even be fine if some stop watching early on or walk out. She's making a provocation by her method of timing. For those who do stick around, she knows she'll give a true "action" movie. It's the antithesis of Hollywood action fare. For example, the average shot-length for a Hollywood blockbuster is about four or five seconds tops. Here, it's roughly four minutes. Per shot. If you ever wondered, just once, if a filmmaker could put an intense amount of focus and patience on a woman making coffee or washing the dishes, or taking a (very un-erotic) bath, or staring at space, look no further.

But Akerman, in tracking Jeanne (perfectly sedate and blank-faced and mechanical Delphine Seyrig) in her three days of time in the film, is not simply making a decision totally alienate her audience. Every action here, every little chore or quiet dinner or knitting serves a purpose for this narrative. When we experience ritual and seemingly simple tasks of work around the house or chores, in real time, the underlying problem is revealed. There is obsession, a mechanical way about doing the same thing over and over, which also goes over into Jeanne's casual afternoon prostitution gigs.

What it reveals, I think, is a character like Jeanne's ultimate lack of free will and character which, by proxy, Akerman means to say is a problem among many women who have nothing but housework and kid(s). That the camera never, not once, moves by way of a pan or tilt or zoom-in or tracking shot or whatever (or, for that matter, a close- up) adds to the static imprisonment of it all. The final primal act is, in fact, a kind of desperate but real act towards a change, something out of the same grind of the usual.

Akerman's direction is unrelenting and sparse, and could be considered a pre-Dogme 95 film if not for the (artificial?) lighting from outside into the apartment at night. It's less a slice of life than a scalding hit pie that you watch cool off in real-time on the counter. Some may be deterred by the length, or the arguable disdain for dialog except for a few key scenes (reading the letter and telling a brief back- story on Jeanne's marriage, by the way both done as ritualistic and blank as cleaning dishes). For me, the lack of easy melodrama or conflict actually upped the stakes. I cared about Jeanne, despite her existential trap, that she might break out of the static world of daily action and minutia. It's a staggering piece of work by a young, courageous artist with something to say, in a take-it-or-leave-it approach.


20 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?