Went to the Watershed (for what seemed like the first time in ages) yesterday to see Abbas Kiarostami’s “Certified Copy”. It starred Juliette Binoche (and William Shimell) and was filmed in Tuscany - so I was in my element! It’s about a man and a woman; the man is a British author who’s visiting Italy to talk about his new book (on the idea of originality in art) and the woman is a French-born gallery owner. After his lecture, they drive to a nearby village where the café proprietor takes them for a married couple… and they go along with it. Their fictional role-play continues in a restaurant - where the scene is played out with each speaking more or less directly to the camera (the director’s aim apparently being that Juliette speaks directly to the male members of the audience and William to the female – which I found strangely effective) – and where Juliette plays out what appears to be the crisis in her real marriage (in an almost unbalanced way?). The film touches poignantly on four generations of marriage – from newly marrieds to an aged couple. In many ways it’s a very strange film; you know something of HER background, but virtually nothing of HIS (and she never asks!).
Binoche’s performance is mesmerising, of course.