Let The Sunshine In – Film Review by Frank L.
Director: Claire Denis
Writers:Christine Angot (screenplay), Claire Denis (screenplay)
Stars: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine
Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) is a magnificent “femme d’un certain age”. She is an artist who is divorced and is also a mother of an adult child. She has already lived a full life in Paris. However, her main preoccupation is to find love, a lasting love. The film begins in the horizontal with a man who turns out to be a banker. He is an unlovely male specimen, who needs to humiliate a barman in order to aggrandise his own sense of self importance. It is a relief when Isabelle sees him for what he is. There are then a succession of possibilities who each arrive on the scene and then for a variety of reasons disappear. Isabelle plays the field with consummate ease as she searches for some man of worth.
There is one male figure of substance who is different, namely Denis (Gerard Depardieu) with whom she has a meaningful one on one, heart to heart discussion. Her relationship with him is entirely different to those which she has with the rest of the field. It is a meeting of minds, a cerebral engagement. Whether it helps Isabelle to find what she is seeking the film does not disclose.
Throughout Binoche is at the top of her form which is hardly surprising as she is acting well within her scope. That said it is a triumphant performance down to those almost Mona Lisa like smiles which tantalise along her lips. For the most part she is in control of her emotions but her fury can be seen when bored to death in the country when spending a weekend with a group of friends.
Claire Denis and Christine Angot wrote the script and it is hard to envisage another actor fitting the part of Isabelle as well as Binoche does. Isabelle’s search must be a role which many women of her age face. Binoche brings grace and elegance to Isabelle’s search in ninety odd minutes of ethereal acting.