In search of that true feeling
In Certified Copy, acclaimed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami captures the intriguing relationship between an Englishman and a French woman.
James Miller (William Shimell) is the author of a book called Certified Copy, which opposes originality in artistic expression. While he is in Italy on a book tour, the writer meets a beautiful French woman (Juliette Binoche). She is a gallery owner who sells mainly replications of antique works, but she seeks authenticity.
They visit museums and bars, striking up a relationship. When an old woman assumes they are a married couple, the two decide to act as if they are. Soon they begin to lose their sense of what is real and what is simply make-believe in their relationship.
Binoche won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her performance. Shimell is a renowned opera singer, and his role in the movie was his first acting experience.
Kiarostami collaborated with co-producer Marin Karmitz, with whom he works frequently, for the director's first European film.
'It is actually based on something that happened to me 10, 15, maybe even 20 years ago,' he said in an interview for the British Film Institute.
Binoche's reactions were vital in bringing the idea to the screen, Kiarostami said.
'In reacting to her reaction, I gave her some more of the story. It's as if the story just became a script.'