Sunday, January 1, 2012

Under 250: Certified Copy

Certified Copy is a film about a relationship.  Whether that relationship is real or invented, however, is another story entirely.  Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry) crosses language barriers and oceans with this tale of love and all its trappings.  Juliette Binoche puts in a solid, stripped down performance as a woman who we see attend a lecture by a renowned art historian (William Shimell), and who begins an interaction with him that is purposefully ambiguous.  As they wander the streets in Tuscany they carry on lightly philosophical conversations about art, the speak of the differences between originals and counterfeits, the way they're received by audiences, and the ways we recognize them.  They flirt and, upon being mistaken for a married couple, they begin what appears to be an elaborate charade, pretending to be a husband and wife with history and squabbles.  Yet, is this all fiction?  Or, is there something deeper going unsaid? The nuances of the emotions, the way the characters interact and unfold make for fascinating viewing. By the end we wonder whether what we saw was love or just an approximation (of course, the question can be further complicated by considering the fact these are actors playing characters acting), yet we find that the difference between authenticity and imitation might not matter after all.  






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