Being a big fan of Juliette Binoche and seeing Certified Copy rank second in this year’s Muriels voting I had pretty big expectations for this movie going in. You could say I was almost pre-determined to like it, except that I didn’t. At all. This is not because I didn’t fully comprehend the concept that seems to be the selling point for so many awestruck critics, I did. My opinion on this movie comes down to much more basic criteria for a movie-going experience, namely that I didn’t enjoy watching it. Now I watch plenty of difficult movies. Antonioni and Wong Kar-Wai are probably my two favorite directors and there’s nothing particulary easy about digesting their work. I’m also not opposed to high-concept, low-budget affairs but this one simply didn’t work for me. To start with I found the male lead to be an obnoxious douche. It didn’t really help that his character is in fact supposed to be an obnoxious douche. Juliette Binoche is an incredibly talented actress and a pleasure to watch however her character in this film is purposely annoying. That points more at the script than her performance which is predictably good given the material she’s working from. I also found the constantly moving camera to be more of a distraction than an asset. But my main complaint is that the film feels so artifiicially constructed to serve the central concept. The situations and dialogue all work towards exploring an idea that might have been better served in a play or even a poem. The writing isn’t all bad and it does move towards some universal truths but its high brow approach was just a constant turn off that lead me to the brink of doing just that (turning it off) several times. I did end up finishing the film, if for no other reason than to say I did, but didn’t feel any more enriched for doing so. Aside from an excellent back and forth between Binoche’s character and a wise Italian wife I could have gladly skipped the whole thing. It just felt like an intellectual masturbation session, and not a particularly sexy one. I’ve read a few of the reviews and they could easily convince you of the film’s brilliance, that is if you hadn’t actually watched the movie which unfortunately I did.

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