Love It or Not, Juliette Makes Let the Sunshine In Worth Watching

Written by | Entertainment, Screen

Juliette Binoche

Courtesy of Sundance Selects. A Sundance Selects release

Audiences are in for A jaded and very French look at love and sex as one Parisian artist twirls through a series of unsatisfactory relationships in short order. It may not sound like the most enticing of plots — especially since the film’s meaning and even overall attitude are hard to divine, but the situation is aided considerably by the fact that the woman in question is played by Juliette Binoche. Simply watching Binoche and her masterfully subtle acting is enough to make this unusual film from accomplished director Claire Denis worthwhile. As Binoche’s character struggles with her romances, it seems as though both she and her lovers are engaged in some sort of complicated game playing or negotiation. First, she alternately entertains, then rejects the smarmy attentions of an arrogant and boorish married banker. Then she gets told off by a famous actor for sleeping with him too soon. She dates a nice, respectful guy for about three minutes of the film before he disappears — presumably for being a dullard. As we parade through potentials, audiences are left to wonder whether our takeaway should be that these particular men have not been right for her, that no men anywhere are right for her, or that there is something inherently flawed in the woman herself. The film closes with an obese fortune teller, Gérard Depardieu, craftily implying that he sees himself in her future — while Binoche looks at him glassy-eyed and the credits roll. Though it is wise to give Denis the benefit of the many doubts that this film might inspire, it is safe to say it is not one of Binoche’s best-crafted or most substantial films. THE WORD: Still, it is Binoche alone that legitimizes this deeply sardonic romantic comedy. COMING TO: Video on Demand

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Last modified: May 3, 2018