close-up of a woman with her head turned and a man just behind heralr

Certified Copy
(Copie conforme)

Directed by Abbas Kiarostami.
With Juliette Binoche, William Shimell, Adrian Moore.
France/Italy/Belgium/Iran, 2010, 35mm, color, 106 min.
French, English and Italian with English subtitles.

Kiarostami’s first cinematic venture outside of Iran bears all the hallmarks of independent European cinema–even the omnipresent Juliette Binoche. However, this is Kiarostami; he will manipulate and transcend such expectations. In a slightly more stylized and theatrical mode, the director focuses on Binoche’s French antiques dealer and her exchanges with a British author—played by opera star William Shimell—of a book about the question of copies versus originals. As the two wander around a village in Tuscany, their unstable, fluctuating roles—in the relationship and in the film—begin to resemble so many reflections within what appears to be a rather fluid, multiplying reality. Yet, as the writer’s book argues, these reflections—or copies—are not necessarily less meaningful than the original. And those sitting in the theater should know. More than any of Kiarostami’s films, Certified Copy makes viewers profoundly aware of all the personal, cultural and intellectual baggage audiences carry into the theater—and everywhere else.

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