Once Upon a Time In Hollywood
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Odd but interesting treatment of an older emotionally volatile woman seeking love.
Binoche is perfect playing this daffy, self-absorbed woman child. Chasing after true love like a fifteen year old girl. This is the best thing I can say about this chatty, vapid film. Although it is not a bad thing that characters are unlikable; it is a bad thing when they are uninteresting. And they are all uninteresting. The conversations reveal nothing but the self absorption of each individual. And for goodness sake, nobody talks the way these people talk. I was looking at my watch ten minutes in to this trudge of a film. Save your money.
Such a terrible movie! The main character sleeps around like no tomorrow and then cries about it later when they run away! Shocking!
'It's like my love life is behind me,' says Isabelle. 'It's all over. There's nothing left.' This from a more than charming 50 mid-life character for whom opportunities would seem abundant. What she desires is simply warm, intimate, empathizing desire-provoking companionship from the other gender.
I loved the movie and wanted to see it again, but even in Portland, Oregon, where theaters for "independent movies" often keep filling seats for long runs, Let the Sunshine In was gone in days. And yet, for me this film worked so well that I cannot come up even with even a quibble,
Here is my take on what Let the Sunshine In was designed to do and accomplished superbly.
I think that now in her seventies, Claire Denis tried to base her character portrayals and story line on what she has learned about how men and women have complementary, yet too often conflicting aspirations for emotional and affectionate desire - more often conflicting aspirations from differing gendered biology and socialization for male-female roles. As a consequence, most of their "relationships" are deeply problematic. For Isabelle, the disappointments are understandable given what the men in her life bring to their interactions - male confusion at best and at worst, totally self-centered exploitation.
The ending for this movie - praised most critics I have read -- is set up by a brief scene introducing a "clairvoyant" Isabelle consults. He has just experienced his own disconnect with his wife, we learn from a brief scene suggesting his own emotional hang-over when the clairvoyant comments about each man in Isabelle's life when she meets him. Viewers can decide for themselves if the unusual but aesthetically beautiful "postscript" in which Isabelle talks with her "counselor-clairvoyant" while credits roll to the left is as affirming as it was for me.
My own take, which I will reconsider when I get a chance to see Let the Sun Shine In again with PAL conversion capability from a European DVD I have ordered, is that as protagonist, Isabelle, looking back meaningfully, has come to understandings that might help her find the intimate companionship she believes she should have if she encounters more "promising: men, but always risking disappointment and having to move on in the hopeful but not desperate spirit of "letting the sunshine in." Not a cynical resignation to "whatever!" but openness to the vicissitudes in all encounters with human beings who perforce bring different gendered backgrounds to bear.
This was a profoundly inspiring and affirming movie for me, at least from the first viewing. Let's grant that the subsidies for films made abroad allow for the gentle telling for which the camera is more of a window to the world, minimizing fast juxtapositions, allowing subtle irony and humor, for which Eric Rohmer was notable. For his movies, a profound, but subtle irony often ended the story. Denis' resolution is more complex this time but equally subtle.
PS: Folks who find nudity and the portrayal of sexual desire, however well done, disruptive for their enjoyment and expectation in romantic comedies as a genre will probably be disappointed and/or upset by the opening scene, which plunges into the worst of her engagements for erotic pleasure.
Top level work from Binoche and Denis.
Juliette Binoche naked again! para variar.
We would have walked out if not in the middle seats I think. We did not like or connect to any of the characters in the film and many scenes were hard to watch. Not an enjoyable film to watch although it does display certain disturbing romantic behavior and leaves you thinking about it in the days after.
I did not know a film could make Juliet Binoche boring!
Juliette Binoche is THE only good thing about this movie!
Binoche gives an excellent performance as a neurotic--and gorgeous-- woman who gets involved with one creep after another. Gerard Depardieu, in a shadowy appearance as some kind of seer, gives the advice the title represents--not that there is any reason to expect it to happen. Depressing.