Cert: 15 Runtime: 94 mins Director: Claire Denis Cast: Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Philippe Katerine,Josiane Balasko, Sandrine Dumas, Nicolas Duvauchelle and Gérard Depardieu
Claire Denis has been a film-maker that I am currently delving into her illustrious body of work. Last year I missed out on seeing her latest during Directors Fortnight at Cannes, it has received mixed reviews but for some reason it caught my attention. So what is Let The Sunshine In all about you ask? Isabelle (Juliette Binoche) is a divorced Parisian painter searching for another shot at love, but refusing to settle for the parade of all-too-flawed men who drift in and out of her life. There’s a caddish banker (Xavier Beauvois) who, like many of her lovers, happens to be married; a handsome actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle) who’s working through his own hang-ups; and a sensitive fellow artist (Alex Descas) who’s skittish about commitment. What reads like a standard romantic comedy premise is transformed, in the hands of master filmmaker Denis, into something altogether deeper, more poignant, and perceptive about the profound mysteries of love.
Let the Sun Shine In is a unique experience, as is the choreography of romance and life it is set in. In the world of online dating, and easy going rom coms. You won’t find that kind of easy romcom in Claire Denis’ film. Denis uses close up techniques successfully, particularly of Isabelle’s facial reflections, displaying the complexity of her character. The balance between the close-up shots with wide angles speaks a lot about a good cinematographer. There is no doubting Juliette Binoche’s almost God like acting talents, she keeps her legend in the movie by giving a very vibrant intensity to Isabelle. She laughs, she cries, she suffers, she daydreams, she’s angry, she fights – all these moments are exceptionally portrayed by Binoche like a fish swimming in the water. My only complaint is about the end scene where Isabelle meets the fortune teller and when he starts a pretty boring 10-15 minutes ‘analysis’ about her love life and the men she have had affairs with. It’s not going for everyone but it was a very unique and compelling watch.