Certified Copy

Certified Copy ★★★★★

That was an intricate joy. I went into it fairly blind, which in this case I'd recommend. I am sure it would hold up to rewatches; it may require them. It's just nice to let Kiarostami's delicate construction unfold in front of you the first time.

There's an easy framing in which this story is simply contains the passage of more time than is apparent on screen. I think that's too easy. I think that accepting it would allow me to avoid engaging with the complexity. There isn't really a mystery at the heart of this film; rather, there's a deliberate architecture which is inherently contradictory. The text supports two interpretations of what's going on here. Neither of them are true or false. The value of this art -- and we hear this directly from the characters on the screen -- is defined by the way we perceive it.

Kiarostami gives us a million small points on which to hang our observations. "Simple isn't simple," after which people keep offering simple solutions. Did you think William Shimell's James Miller was childish in the restaurant? Did you remember Binoche dealing with her actual child in the first restaurant? It's all copies. This is terribly elegant filmmaking.

Binoche is a delight. Sometimes, I think, directors put her on a pedestal. She's absolutely messy and human here, and it's wonderful.

Stay for the post-credits scene.

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