When you start learning a language, it's easy to see improvement. It's a very steep learning curve, in which is there no way to go but up. Once you get to a certain point, the curve flattens dramatically. I know my French is better than it's ever been. But I feel I've hit that learning flatline. Eeking closer to fluency is a slower process now, with very little evidence to show if I'm getting there or not.
Last night, I watched a movie with my host family. Now I've probably watched more French movies that any non-French person I know. I always, always miss something. There's slang, multiple story lines to keep straight, weird French names to remember, cultural references, and so on. And once I miss some minor yet important detail, it's hard to force myself to concentrate.
Last night, I decided to focus very very hard so as not to miss anything. And I was able to follow it all the whole way through. I felt very content at the closing credits, becauce I think this is the first time I have competely understood an entire French film. It's nice to be able to see proof that I'm getting better at this.