Certified Copy

Rated 5.0

The director is Iranian, the star is French, the setting is Tuscany, the dialogue is in Italian, French and English, and the overall effect is one of intimate mystery and sly fascination. A man and a woman meet at an academic conference in a picturesque setting. They discuss the merit of copies and originals in art, then venture out into the Tuscan countryside. A woman at a cafe takes them for a married couple, and soon the two of them are beginning to behave as if they were a married couple, or had been sometime in the past. Are they just pretending or are they the real thing? The much-esteemed Iranian auteur Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, The Wind Will Carry Us, Ten) has fashioned a beguilingly enigmatic movie in which fantasy and reality seem to merge, or at least to flirt—quite seriously—with each other’s replicas. The lead players—French icon Juliette Binoche and English opera singer William Shimell—run both hot and cold in the story’s central two-part roundelay, and for all their prickly differences, neither ceases to spin pleasingly in the orbit of Kiarostami’s playfully perplexing scenario. Pageant Theatre. Not rated