NZIFF ’10: Certified Copy (Copie Conforme)

nziff ’10: Certified Copy (Copie Conforme)
Dir. Abbas Kiarostami | France/Italy | 2010 | 106 mins.

Juliette Binoche won Best Actress at Cannes this year for her performance in this film, and it’s easy to see why. Set in picturesque Tuscany, the film is a love story, of sorts. Binoche portrays a woman who plays host to a visiting English author, played by the opera singer William Shimell. His book, Copia Conforme, is about duplicates of artworks—forgeries. She picks him up and they drive around museums, cafés and restaurants, and the countryside. Nothing much else happens, and nothing much else needs to: the film’s charm is in its dialogue and the holiday-like experience it offers.

It has a very similar feel to Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Richard Linklater’s pair of films starring Julie Delphy and Ethan Hawke, about two near-strangers who wander around Paris for a day. Like those films, the events here take place in ‘real time,’ so to speak, but where those films occasionally seem a tad contrived and forced, the conversation and even the camerawork here feels much more natural—enhanced by certain shots looking square-on at the characters at tables and mirrors; these seem almost to use a special kind of mirror system to achieve their effect, and their directness is very potent.

Certified Copy will almost certainly be re-released at Rialto and similar cinemas.