Certified Copy (Copie Conforme) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Certified Copy (Copie Conforme) Reviews

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½ December 21, 2013
Enigmatic, surreal, and incredibly provocative, Certified Copy is a triumph of ideas over narrative. A film about copies, authenticity, and originality that's more concerned with starting a discussion than bringing cathartic narrative moments. It's rare to see a film this different and this smart. It defies description or even plot explanation. And Binoche is at her radiant best (then again, when is she not).
November 16, 2013
Theatre is not film, and film is not theatre, Abbas!
October 10, 2013
Directed by "controversial" Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, "Certified Copy" is a film about what is real and what is fake.
Juliette Binoche plays a woman only known as "she" (as revealed by the credits) who is moderately infatuated with a man named James Miller who has written a book titled "Certified Copy" which examines the importance of copies and forged artworks and how the fake artworks can bring viewers of art closer to the originals (even though it isn't real)... thus begins our film.
The unnamed main character (she), invites the author to see her personal antique collection, and from that point they spend the entire day together. Their day begins simply by talking about art as they drive through the streets of Italy, but when they stop at a coffee shop and the elderly lady serving the coffee mistakes them for being a married couple Juliette Binoche's character decides to play along. For the rest of the day, she and James spend the whole day pretending to be a married couple traveling through Italy for their 15th wedding anniversary.
The script of "Certified Copy" is not perfect, but it is the small coincidences and random background noises or images that really help the theme of this film breathe. Wedding bells are heard from chapels constantly, and newly weds still in suits and white dresses are seen in several scenes parading the streets and having their pictures taken. (Having the main character unnamed also implies a sense of submission to one' husband as found in wedding vows and the culture that the director is from.)
Where this film could have fallen apart, is just when the story picks up. At times, their pretending and references to events that both of them know never happened (example: their wedding day) cross a line of unbelievability as we, as an audience, have to cross the hurtle that both characters are choosing to pretend they are married without ever acknowledging that they are pretending.
That's where the theme of the film shines at its a best. It does't matter that they weren't really married, as it helped them see their own flaws and gain a greater understanding of love and marriage (just as a forged painting can give a viewer the same knowledge as the real painting).
This movie isn't for everyone, but it is a beautiful look at the occasionally ugly side of love and the things that love can make people do for others.
August 31, 2013
It reminded me a bit of the "Before" trilogy but it just didn't captivate me the same way as those movie did.
August 23, 2013
Knife in The Water, Before Sunrise, Woody Allen, Charlie Kauffman, Jim Jarmush and even some Breathless, all mixed up together on a original tale that talks about love, art and relationships.
½ July 30, 2013
"Certified Copy" is a movie that demands to be discussed and is very difficult to write about without directly tackling its "secrets". Suffice to say this is one of the most unique and thought-provoking movies I've seen recently. It's amazing how this movie follows a very straightforward trajectory yet remains such a profound mystery. "Certified Copy" is one of the boldest films I've ever seen on the subject of romance. It asks fundamental questions about the nature of relationships and makes explicit the degree to which every relationship is simply an act of role-playing. Having watched this movie twice as of this writing, I'm amazed at how thoroughly this movie defies explanation, and I mean that in the best way possible. Just when you think you have one theory about the objective "reality" of the film, a line of dialogue comes in to completely throw a wrench into said theory. Who are these people and what is the true nature of their relationship? The answers, I believe, aren't concrete, as in, there is no one unifying reality that could accommodate every moment of "Certified Copy".

I don't want to talk about this film like it's a giant "Inception"-esuqe puzzle, because ultimately that misses the point. As many questions as it raises and as complex as the subtext is, this is still an extremely watchable movie. The lead performances by Juliette Binoche and William Shimell are fantastic. It occurred to me while watching this film that Binoche might have had the best career of any actress in the world over the past couple of decades. She has been so credible in so many roles, and this is one of her best that I've seen.

"Certified Copy" walks a brilliant tightrope in that it's always suggesting possibilities while never tipping its hand, a fact I appreciated even more the second time around. The movie is full of interesting conversations about artifice and originally, interspersed with harsh realizations about marriage and romance in general. Most of these conversations take place at a leisurely pace whilst walking around Italy, kind of like an extremely cynical version of "Before Sunrise". All of this is wrapped up in an extremely ambitious experiment in form by director Abbas Kiarostami. It's an experiment that comes off nearly perfectly, if you ask me. I'm pretty enthralled by what "Certified Copy" has to offer. and I suspect I won't be done with it any time soon.
½ July 18, 2013
The film is not a linear experience so it will leave many confused and frustrated. However, if the viewer actually invests into this gem they will surely see the beauty and genius that was invested in 'Certified Copy'. Outstanding movie
July 6, 2013
Great performance by Juliette Binoche. Kiarostami at his best. As an introduction to this movie, I recommend watching Rossellini's "Journey to Italy".
July 5, 2013
I really enjoyed this film. I'd explain more of the plot but I probably have to give it another watch to completely grasp all the themes. It's more or less about the concept of originality in art; and also a complex relationship between the 2 main characters. Juliette Binoche has a great performance.
Super Reviewer
½ June 28, 2013
"Cerified Copy" is quite simply a walk and talk movie.(Since this is also an Abbas Kiarostami movie, there is also a car involved. Which is about the only innovation he brings to the table here.) And there's nothing wrong with that but this only works if you have something to say. Well, James Miller(William Shimell) thinks he might, considering he has just written a book about copies. He tries to express his ideas to an unnamed French woman(Juliette Binoche) who is an antique dealer living in Italy with her teenaged son(Adrian Moore). As mismatched as their chemistry is, they give a go at pretending to be a copy of other marriages, after a waitress makes the stereotypical presumption about their being married. But still, little is known about the man and woman's true relationship, giving the story such as it is little firm ground to stand on, in this movie which is nowhere near as clever as it thinks it is and also a meager copy of far superior movies.
June 25, 2013
"How in the heck Juliette Binoche didn't get nominated by the Oscars in this very well-done movie?" Only words that came out of my mouth right after the movie. William Shimell is great too but Binoche owns the hell out of this movie from scene 1.
June 24, 2013
I'm ashamed to admit it but this is the first Abbas Kiarostami film I've seen (don't blame me, blame Netflix) but now that I've had a taste, I've a feeling I'll be back for more. This is a beautiful film about love, intimacy, art and meaning and it's all done with such a delicate, masterful touch. It jumps between multiple languages which can be tricky and is somewhat unnecessary but lucky for me I speak the two that are used primarily. Even though there is much dialogue about art and philosophy, it never feels pretentious and the camerawork is gentle and lingers on a take just as long as it needs to. One of the highlights for me is the short scene where Juliette Binoche is putting on her lipstick and jewelry staring straight into the camera, as if in front of a mirror. Under normal circumstances, a woman is looking at herself while applying makeup, but here she is looking at us, exposed and unflinching, an incredibly intimate moment that has every right to be the poster for this film. The performances are so palpable because the actors are clearly feeling the emotions of the characters and restraining them in a perfectly believable way. One of the best films of our time.
½ June 22, 2013
You come out of this movie not sure of the beginning, the end & all in between or your interpretation of the conversation & its not because of any intelligence problems on your behalf, it's just the way the director / Writer wanted it to be so try to wrap ur head around the possibilities & enjoy :D

I like lengthy conversations .. and even though I think the pace was a lil bit slow & I had a really hard time making out the french / Italian portions of it but It was enjoyable nonetheless & seemed real to me
May 31, 2013
Charming, wonderful, and creative. Perfect movie to watch on a date.
½ May 28, 2013
Ah yes, Juliette Binoche of 'Chocolat' fame. She won my heart me back then and is as equally magnificent in this movie. This movie is open to interpretation and will leave you asking questions about the nature of their relationship. Was she once a mistress, a certified copy, of his marriage elsewhere and now meeting many years later? Were they role playing? Were they once married and long since separated? You will have no solid answers but what a wonderful film that addresses different stages of a relationship. Some key scenes in the coffee shop when he is outside on the phone, in the restaurant when they argue, the bride who wants her photograph taken, the final scene and the ringing bell.... plenty of questions but no answers. Loved it. Filmed in a mixture of English, French and Italian as it is set in Tuscany.
May 22, 2013
The confusing make-believe relationship of the leads got me thinking for a long time.
½ May 10, 2013
Se duce de rapa in ultima juma de ora dar altfel e interesant pentru amestecul de (i)realitate si filozofie
½ April 26, 2013
It tries, and sometimes comes close, but doesn't feel natural, and besides the initial twist doesn't bring anything new or particularly convincing to an age old story. Not really involving or satisfying.
½ April 23, 2013
I don't think this one is so easy as to fit it into a category of goods or bads. It broke so many of what one would call "rules of storytelling," that it initially left me confused and critical about it's technical nature. But the more I think of it, I really don't know what to make of it and am wonderfully puzzled by it. I don't think there's another movie quite like it.
½ April 17, 2013
Certified Copy is a masterpiece about what people can invent with conversation. Or it could be about middle-aged second chances? I have no clue what Certified Copy is actually about, but I love it.
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