A blog dealing with either the joy of cinema or the agony of cinema--nothing in between.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A British author is late for his own book discussion at a gallery in Tuscany, Italy. He has written a book that shares its name with the film's title, and is essentially about how a good copy is no different then the original. After the lecture, he decides to spend the day with a French woman who runs a small gallery in the village. Together they venture out into the countryside where he signs copies of his book while the two discuss matters similar to his book topic such as artifice versus genuine and other philosophical ruminations. After visiting a gallery where a highly revered copy is on display, the two stop in a coffee shop. As the man answers a call outside, the matron mistakes him for her husband and the woman doesn't correct her and in fact plays along. Yet she seems to be showing very strong emotions when talking about her "husband's" shortcomings. Eventually the man plays along, and as the two go about their day and seem to be having genuine marital spats as well as moments, the audience begins to wonder just what the hell is going on. Certified Copy is the work of acclaimed international director Abbas Kiarostami, this being his first film out of Iran. I have never seen one of his films. I'm not even sure if they're readily accessible, but with this movie his sure hand as a filmmaker is clear. Here we have a literate, philosophic film set in the beautiful Italian countryside that makes the audience think and decide for themselves what is really going on. William Shimmell, a middle aged actor though relatively new to films, is strong as the author but I really wanted to comment on Juliette Binoche. As I watched her nuances as she went from emotion to emotion, I wondered if the was a film actress in this country who could even rival her talents. On top of being such a lovely presence, she is able to convey an array of emotions just by a change in her gaze, and her work in this tricky film is much of what makes it work.