Certified Copy (‘Copie Conforme’)

DRAMA; 1hr 46min (English, French and Italian with subtitles)

STARRING: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell

Harmony: Shimell and Binoche

Abbas Kiarostami has chosen well for the setting of his first movie outside Iran: the esteemed film-maker (Ten, Taste of Cherry) sets the shifting sands of Certified Copy in Tuscany, where the past cuddles up to the present in the softest possible light. With the inventive gaze of his curious camera, Kiarostami follows a man (Shimell as James) and an unnamed woman (Binoche) as they meet up and spend a day together. She owns a local antique shop; he is promoting his book about the validity of art forgeries. The two drive to a nearby village while debating questions of artistic perception. At first they appear to be tentative strangers but when the tone of their conversation abruptly changes, the dynamic between them becomes something else.


Switching languages — English, French, Italian — as they switch moods, the two show themselves in myriad ways while concretely revealing nothing. James is a bristly British fish (and opera singer Shimell struggles at times), but Cannes Best Actress Binoche is a joy. Bruised yet vibrant, energised by longing, she faces pain and dismay with her eyes wide open.