Un beau soleil intérieur [Let the Sun Shine In] (2017)

Un beau soleil intérieur
Director: Claire Denis
Writer: Christine Angot, Claire Denis
Based on: Roland Barthes‘s A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine, Josiane Balasko, Sandrine Dumas, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Alex DescasLaurent GrévillBruno PodalydèsPaul Blain, Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Gérard Depardieu
Part of: Viennale
Seen on: 27.10.2017
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Plot:
Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) is a rather successful artist, but she’s less successful when it comes to love. She has an affair with the married Vincent (Xavier Beauvois), but that isn’t enough for her. So she goes on various dates and meets quite a few men. But none of it lasts and Isabelle keeps on searching.

I found Un beau soleil intérieur pretty disappointing. There wasn’t a single character I liked in the film – and yes, that includes Isabelle. That made the film rather trying to sit through.

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Clouds of Sils Maria (2014)

Clouds of Sils Maria
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Lars Eidinger, Brady Corbet, Nora von Waldstätten

Plot:
20 years ago, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) became a famous actress for her part in the play Maloja Snake, in which she played Sigrid, a young woman who seduces the older Helena. Now Maria is on her way to receive an award on behalf of the writer and director of the play. But before she arrives, she is informed that he passed away. Maria is shocked by the news. In that vulnerable state, her assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) tells Maria that up and coming director Klaus Diesterweg (Lars Eidinger) would like to remake Maloja Snake – with Maria as Helena and Hollywood starlet Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloë Grace Moretz) as Sigrid. Despite her trepidations about the role, Maria accepts the offer.

Clouds of Sils Maria was absolutely fantastic, if slightly long. It was interesting, intelligent, beautifully shot and above all, wonderfully acted.

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Words and Pictures (2013)

Words and Pictures
Director: Fred Schepisi
Writer: Gerald Di Pego
Cast: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Bruce Davison, Valerie Tian, Amy Brenneman

Plot:
Jack (Clive Owen) is an English teacher who used to be a good poet, but is now an alcoholic who can’t put words to paper anymore. Dina (Juliette Binoche) is a sought-after painter who suffers from rheumatiod arthritis which makes her inable to paint as she used to. So she starts working as an art teacher at Jack’s school and the two become rivals immediately. As they argue over words vs. pictures, their class takes up the fight as well and channel it into a creative outlet.

Words and Pictures was mostly enjoyable even though it is a film that tries way too hard with pretty much everything.

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Godzilla (2014)

Godzilla
Director: Gareth Edwards
Writer: Max Borenstein
Based on: Gojira
Cast: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Bryan Cranston, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Juliette Binoche, David Strathairn, Ty Olsson

Plot:
Joe Brody (Bryan Cranston) and his wife Sandra (Juliette Binoche) used to work at a nuclear power plant in Japan until an accident claimed Sandra’s life and left Joe convinced that there was something more to it. As he tries to figure out what it could have been, it’s his son Ford (Aaron Taylor-Johnson) who suffers for it. Years later Ford is again called to Japan to help with his father who doesn’t care about the legality of his research that much. And it turns out that Joe was right all along and suddenly Ford finds himself in the middle of a fight against monsters.

Godzilla has beautiful special effects and a good cast but unfortunately also bland characters and a stereotypical story. It just couldn’t hold my interest.

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Camille Claudel 1915 (2013)

Camille Claudel 1915
Director: Bruno Dumont
Writer: Bruno Dumont
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Jean-Luc Vincent
Part of: Viennale

Plot:
Camille Claudel (Juliette Binoche) was and artist, the sister of Paul Claudel (Jean-Luc Vincent) and a lover of Auguste Rodin. But after the break-up with Rodin, her family had her commited to an asylum where she now spends her days amidst people with mental disabilities, convinced that people are trying to poison her. When she hears that her brother plans a visit, she puts all her hope in him releasing her.

Holy crap, Camille Claudel 1915 was booo-ring. Despite Binoche’s wonderful acting, it didn’t take long for me to wish that the movie would turn out to be a short film. But it wasn’t and so I suffered.

camille-claudel-1915

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Cosmopolis (2012)

Cosmopolis
Director: David Cronenberg
Writer: David Cronenberg
Based on: Don DeLillo‘s novel
Cast: Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche, Sarah Gadon, Mathieu Amalric, Jay Baruchel, Kevin Durand, K’Naan, Emily Hampshire, Samantha Morton, Paul Giamatti, Philip Nozuka

Plot:
Eric Packer (Robert Pattinson) is young and rich and drives through New York in his limousine trying to get a haircut. But since the president is visiting the city, traffic is pretty clogged up and this takes a lot longer than anticipated. Eric starts taking several meetings in his car but bit by bit his life is crumbling apart, as Eric purposefully loses money and sabotages himself.

Holy fucking shit, this movie is extremely bad. I thought that Cronenberg would outweigh Pattinson’s total lack of charisma, but unfortunately the script is a single excercise in what-the-fuckery that depends on said non-existant charisma and so the entire film is set up to fail.

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L’heure d’été [Summer Hours] (2008)

L’heure d’été
Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Cast: Charles Berling, Juliette Binoche, Jérémie Renier, Edith Scob

Plot:
Hélène (Edith Scob) is celebrating her birthday with her kids Frédéric (Charles Berling), Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) and Jérémie (Jérémie Renier) and their respective families. Since Hélène knows that she’s getting older, thoughts of succession and heritage are not far from her mind. Especially since she has devoted her entire life to her uncle’s legacy who was a famous artist. Her kids would rather not talk about it though. It is only after Hélène’s death that they really start to come to terms with it.

Summer Hours was beautifully shot, very well acted, had wonderful art in it and I can appreciate it. But it was also way too long and so very boring and I just wanted things to happen every once in a while. I missed a plot.

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Elles (2011)

Elles
Director: Malgorzata Szumowska
Writer: Malgorzata Szumowska, Tine Byrckel
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Anaïs Demoustier, Joanna Kulig, Louis-Do de Lencquesaing

Plot:
Anne (Juliette Binoche) is a journalist for Elle magazine who is trying to finish an article about students who double as prostitutes in Paris. While the deadline looms, Anne finds herself more and more obsessed with the two girls – Charlotte (Anaïs Demoustier) and Alicja (Joanna Kulig) – she interviewed and their experiences, gradually calling the sterility of her own life into question.

Elles is an ambitious project and one that doesn’t always achieve its aims or is faultless. But in the end it’s an engaging and interesting film with a wonderful lead.

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