Certified Copy

Certified Copy ★★★★

Film #8 of The December Challenge 2013

I felt the need to rewatch Certified Copy after watching Orson Welles' F for Fake. The two films both deal with the trickery and deceit inherent in art. Where "F for Fake" is very showy, Certified Copy is understated and contemplative. The latter is about James Miller, a writer whose latest book is about the value of a copy versus the original art. At a promotional event for the book in Italy, he meets a French woman and they take a drive together through the countryside. They have heated debates about art and relationships, revealing more about their past as the journey goes on. If you go in thinking it's just the typical boy meets girl narrative, hopefully you'll come away with much more.

Without powerful, lived-in performances, this would've been a nearly impossible conceit to pull off. I'm a huge fan of Juliette Binoche. She always does a great job with complex and unlikable characters such as Elle. The very attractive William Shimell matches her intensity throughout and together they have great chemistry. The film concerns itself with the details of their characters' backgrounds so paying close attention to how they say things and when they reveal pertinent information is extremely important. There's also a lot to be gleaned from the cinematography and the importance of every shot chosen. One of the best relationship dramas I've seen, Certified Copyis well worth a couple of thoughtful watches.

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