This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Bryant’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
At first Gerard Depardieu reads as some sort of therapist. It’s so good that Juliette Binoche is talking to a professional! Her love life is such a mess! Then he resolves into a psychic and convinces her to make a bad decision. Then the movie ends. Denis has called that last scene the most touching one in the movie.
At her most interesting, Claire Denis is concerned with the intersection of colonialism and desire, with neither taking precedence. Sometimes she leans into one or the other; those are still great movies. This one is about desire in the autumn of middle age. (Also gender, of course.)
Binoche’s completely vulnerable acting is a good match for Denis’ elliptical filmmaking. There’s not a ton of narrative here; there are events that happen and the way Binoche reacts to them. These events and reactions layer over one another to create a set of truths. We see these truths clearly even when Binoche’s Isabelle does not thanks to the clarity of her acting. Her character lies to herself while Binoche’s face hides nothing.