Finding (Fake?) Love in "Certified Copy"

What happens when everything a filmmaker tells us about his characters is suddenly turned on its head? This is the dilemma that viewers of Abbas Kiarostami's confounding Certified Copy will face late into this movie. It is at this point when the two main characters, William Schmiell's pompous author and Juliette Binoche's curious shop owner, stop being the ostensible strangers who meet for a philosophical Tuscan day trip and begin to adopt the affectations of a long-married couple on the rocks, complete with backstories and a sudden understanding of each partner's history, habits, and tics. We spend the rest of the movie trying to piece together clues that must have facilitated this change, rethinking dialogue from the first half — about art and objects, originals and reproductions, perception and reality — that suddenly becomes vivid when reworking it for the messy vagaries of romantic life. Some people will hate Certified Copy, but for adventurous moviegoers, it's more daring than the complex docufiction hybrids Kiarostami directed in his native Iran. Before Sunset as interpreted by Alain Resnais, this is the kind of lovely, inscrutable, '60s European art-house film that nobody makes anymore. The just-released movie is playing at Living Room Theaters at FAU, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, and at Cinema Paradiso, 503 SE Sixth St., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $5 to $9. Visit fau.livingroomtheaters.com, or fliff.com.

 
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