Entries tagged with “Abbas Kiarostami”.

Jane Eyre

Directed by Cary Fukunaga
Written by Moria Buffini
Starring Mia Wasikowska, Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Judi Dench

One of my unfortunate cultural blind spots is 19th century British literature penned by female authors.  To date, I’ve only read one Jane Austen novel (Pride & Prejudice, which I quite liked by the way), nothing by Mary Shelly (not even Frankenstein, although I did repeatedly devour the Illustrated Classics version back in elementary school) and nothing by any of the three Brontë sisters, Anne, Charlotte and Emily.  I’m also embarrassed to admit that I haven’t even seen any of the numerous film versions of the Brontë’s books up to and including the classic 1939 adaptation of Wuthering Heights starring Laurence Olivier and 1943’s Jane Eyre, starring the dynamic duo of Orson Welles and Joan Fontaine.  Of course, I am familiar with the broad outlines of both tales—the thwarted love affair between Heathcliff and Cathy and Jane Eyre’s poorly advised infatuation with the brooding Rochester, who keeps his wife locked away in the attic of his gloomy mansion—but couldn’t  offer a blow-by-blow account of specific plot details.


Directed by Abbas Kiarostami

It isn’t often that I immediately want to watch a film again after the credits roll, but that’s how I felt at the conclusion of Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami’s Certified Copy.  This tricky hall-of-mirrors story revolves around a man and a woman (William Shimell and Juliette Binoche) that spend one long day in each other’s company wandering around the Tuscan countryside.  He’s a scholar that specializes in art reproductions, she’s the owner of a small antiques shop and they have supposedly never met before.  Over the course of the day though, their relationship undergoes pronounced shifts and, by the end, they have taken on the appearance and attitude of an actual married couple.  But are they?  Or are they simply a reproduction of the other couples they have encountered during their excursion?  In the end, the movie isn’t concerned with providing a definitive answer, which is as it should be.  The joy of the film emerges from observing the subtle way the nature of their relationship changes over time.  Shimell and Binoche—who deservedly won the Best Actress prize at Cannes—deliver marvelous performances that demonstrate exceptional range, putting them (and us) through the emotional wringer.  Certified Copy is the kind of movie that can be watched again and again because each time you’ll undoubtedly discover something—be it a glance, a bit of body language or a line of dialogue—that makes it into a new film each time.