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William Shimell and Juliette Binoche both play annoying characters you will not want to hang out with in CERTIFIED COPY

CERTIFIED COPY (COPIE CONFORME) (Abbas Kiarostami, 2010)
Alice Tully Hall
1941 Broadway at 65th St.
Friday, October 1, 9:15 pm
Sunday, October 3, 11:30 am

Writer, director, poet, photographer, editor, graphic designer, and painter Abbas Kiarostami has been one of Iran’s leading filmmakers for nearly forty years, compiling a resume that includes such important international films as UNDER THE OLIVE TREES (1994), TASTE OF CHERRY (1997), and THE WIND WILL CARRY US (1999). His latest film, CERTIFIED COPY, is his first feature made outside of his home country, a dreadfully boring and annoying art-infused romantic comedy set in Italy. Juliette Binoche was named Best Actress at Cannes this year for her starring role as an unnamed single mother and antiques dealer who is obsessed with English author James Miller’s (British opera star William Shimell) book on the history and meaning of art replicas, CERTIFIED COPY. Inexplicably, the two strangers are soon on a bizarre sort-of date, driving through Tuscany and becoming involved in a series of vignettes about love and marriage, literature and art, and other topics. Both characters are seriously flawed and emotionally unstable in ways that make them unattractive to watch, especially in obvious set-ups that either go nowhere or exactly where you think they’re going. While Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke made the somewhat similar BEFORE SUNRISE (1995) and BEFORE SUNSET (2004), in which two strangers from different countries spend a day together (but mostly by themselves), the sexual tension and excitement always building, CERTIFIED COPY is more reminiscent of Hans Canova’s ridiculous CONVERSATIONS WITH OTHER WOMEN (2005), in which Aaron Eckhart and Helena Bonham Carter star as wedding guests with a past whom viewers can’t wait to just shut up and get off the screen. Don’t let the supposed adult dialogue of CERTIFIED COPY fool you into thinking it’s an intelligent, mature look at believable relationships; instead, it feels like a staid copy of other, better films you think you’ve seen but can’t remember — and won’t care.

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