This is the story of a meeting between a man and a woman in a village in Southern Tuscany. He is a British author who has just finished giving a lecture at a conference. She is French and owns an art gallery. Together they tour the village and discover that nothing is quite what it seems.
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It is hugely satisfying to see how Kiarostami weaves his career-long obsessions and filming techniques into an entirely new type of film for him… One of the most ingenious and thought-provoking romances you’re ever likely to see.
It’s absolutely gorgeous, wrapping everything in a warm, golden glow. And there’s a playfulness to the film, from the script—with its in-jokes and funny, observant dialogue—to the performances, which are wholly lived-in and naturalistic. It’s that rare marvel: a film as pleasurable as it is sophisticated.
Kiarostami the magnificent imagemaker is back with a vengeance—there are sequences here as stunning in their use of offscreen space as anything he’s done before, coupled with a massive leap forward in his recent fascination with the close-up.
Oh God, this movie! First thing out of a load of library movies I get, and it's just fantastic! I saw Kiarostami's '98 Palme d'Or winner, Taste of Cherry and loved it. But this was something really special. A subtly mind bending story that evolves out of a simple trip between two strangers. Binoche is beautiful as usual and Shimell was perfect. Great characters and a Carriere cameo make it essential viewing!
I have mixed feelings. While it's startlingly novel, I'm turned off by the philosophical dialogue and by how misplaced Binoche's performance feels in the context of this filmmaking. She feels especially synthetic once the café owner is introduced (now *there's* a performance!). ... However as I spend time away from the film I discover it left a strong impression.
The best comparison for Binoche in terms of American actresses is Streep, and that's both good and bad. You can feel her acting the hell out of this role, instead of being the role. It's more the American style.
Thanks to its magnetic duo of actors (specially La Binoche!), "Certified Copy" becomes way more accessible and relatable and it didn't came across as just a snob and elitist film about art and the (ir)relevance of originality. That discussion is there, through the movie, but dissolved in a captivating first date which turns into a failed marriage. Definitely food for thought.
An image of a person -- reflected in glass, words, painting, film or the naked eye -- remains an inscrutable barrier to truth, even when observed in the most candid circumstances. These certified copies of ourselves fill this world we share with others, clouding our ability to see and understand. Yet Kiarostami finds intimacy even within the distances that separate. Thought provoking.
Acting aside, I found this nearly unbearable. Binoche's character was the more sympathetic of the two, and as a couple they seemed real enough, but I wouldn't have been able to spend the afternoon with either of them, let alone 15 years. The 2 hrs of the film was hard enough. I'd rather be single than endure a relationship like that. Just no.