Certified Copy review

Mildly pretentious English author James is driven to a Tuscan village by mildly kooky French fan Elle where, after being mistaken as husband and wife, they both decide to play along with the charade for the rest of the day.

Juliette Binoche is always watchable, and her co-star, opera singer William Shimell, is impressive, especially considering the challenging roles. Shot choices are frequently unconventional and while not without artistic merit in themselves they can be, at times, detrimental to the greater good, obvious enough to dent an already unsteady pace. Long, lingering shots also serve as a setting for drawn-out, dry dialogue—there is a big emphasis on words over actions in this experimental play.

The central idea, of two strangers falling into role-playing to explore emotions and exorcise a few demons is both interesting and good fun and, with a little patience and analysis of what is happening, it offers some reward. However, from numerous smaller events to the reason for James and Elle’s trip and their instant decision to role-play with such implausible dedication, Certified Copy is almost fatally let down by the sheer contrivances employed in attempt to make the concept work.

2 out of 5

6th Sep 2010 | On IMDb