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Culture Watch: 'Certified Copy,' with Juliette Binoche

March 15, 2011 |  9:00 am

Copieconforme "Certified Copy"

At selected movie theaters

Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's latest movie slyly explores notions of authenticity in the realms of art and romance. Juliette Binoche stars as an art dealer living in Tuscany who spends a day driving and chatting with a British writer (opera singer William Shimel) who has just penned an art book. The movie's minimalist visual style belies some narrative trickery -- without giving too much away, a plot twist sends the characters careening into a new metaphysical plane where nothing is quite as it seems.

The movie (now in theaters and on-demand March 23) unfolds against a backdrop of old European art culture. The couple meanders through a series of museums, galleries, churches and public squares. At one point, Shimel's writer remarks that a good copy of a masterpiece can be as valuable as the original. Later, Binoche challenges this concept in ways that surprise both of them.

The movie's U.S. trailer is selling it as a light-hearted romantic drama, which is not entirely the case. The ambiguous ending -- note Kiarostami's use of mirrors -- will likely have you scratching your head, wondering what exactly you just saw.

Read the L.A. Times review of "Certified Copy."


More Culture Watch picks from Times writers

-- David Ng

Image credit: IFC Films