Juliette Binoche embodies an academic with a hectic inner life that makes her complicated love life all the more difficult.
Juliette Binoche goes through the French drama "Who You Think I Am "as if possessed. From moment to moment, her character - an academic with a turbulent inner life - looks tense or insanely happy. The emotion, in turn, brightens and darkens her translucent face. , and changes her body, gait and gestures. She laughs, she cries, expands, contracts. Sometimes she floats in the street, carried by the love of a younger man. may be less high on him, per se, than on how he makes her feel.
Filmmakers can get a lot of mileage just by filling the screen with the face of Binoche, which is often the greatest special effect in a film. It is a beautiful face, eternally, but if beauty tends to attract us, it does not hold us back or bewitch us necessarily, keeping us hooked. But Binoche is a virtuoso of feeling, with a bewitching mastery of her face.harden or crumple it into marbled fragments, then piece it back together effortlessly, with or without irregular seams. And although she cries well, the most impressive thing is the way that floods, swirls of feelings move under her skin.
You get to know Binoche's character, Claire, through the modern version of the confessional box, aka the desk of a shrink. She 'sa mess, and one guy is to blame, or at least that ' s what it seems. What is happening turns out to be more complex, or at least complicated. There are two guys, C tells her new therapist (Nicole Garcia), both perfectly groomed and easily undressed. When the first (Guillaume Gouix) dumped her, Claire reveals, she turned to the modern version of the devil, aka social media, to spy on him. With an alluring photo and fake ID, Claire transformed into a much younger Clara, sneaking intohis life then in that of the ideally situated lover n ° 2 (François Civil).
There are twists and turns, some obvious, others absurd. The characters come and go (Charles Berling appears too briefly as Claire's ex-husband), and time passes as Claire laughs, shines, messes her hair and loses her bearings. All along there are gestures toward larger issues including desire, beauty, sex, and age. We talk a lot, we dance and we talk more, it 'sa French film. In a fun and pointy scene, Claire circles around frantically talking to a lover on her cell phone while her puzzled and exasperated sons watch, waiting to be picked up. Binoche seems to be having a good time, but his character could have benefited from less tears and less stories.
Binoche nevertheless navigates smoothly through all the narrative laces and emotional storms, enough so that the accumulation of tense developments and coincidences does not bother you. (You can, however, sniff at a timely car accident, but only because it's such a cliche.) You realize too soon that Claire has a way of making things - life, love - more complicated than necessary. Then again, as cuts from her lecture in a college classroom will remind you, she teaches intrigue and deception novels like "Dangerous Liaisons". Given this particular film, she probably also lectures on "Cyrano de Bergerac" and topics like the concealer heroine.
It is understandable that Director Safy Nebbou, who shares credit with Julie Peyr, keeps his focus and camera so relentlessly on Claire. (The film is adapted from a novel by Camille Laurens.) Yet like much of the rest of theThe story is so underdeveloped - notably Claire's intimate life with her frustrating, generic children - the character overwhelms everything, including the fragile realism. Part of this is obviously intentional: Claire tells stories from the movie in the therapist's office, so it all revolves around her. Yet while Claire's therapist (or rather Garcia) turns out to be an ideal audience, the kind of transfer that makes movies work never happens.
Who do you think I am
Not rated. In French, with subtitles. Duration: 1 hour 41 minutes. At the movies.