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Film Review: Let The Sunshine In

Director:    Claire Denis

Cast:    Juliette Binoche, Xavier Beauvois, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Laurent Grévill, Alex Descas, Bruno Podalydès, Gerard Depardieu, Paul Blain, Josiane Balasko, Philippe Katerine

Rating:    MA

Running Time:    94

Australian Distributor:     Madman Films

 

Juliette Binoche is Isabelle, an artist in Paris, divorced and looking for, well … something. She’s not finding it with the overly picky banker, or the enigmatic actor, or her ex-husband, either. She’s unsettled, and the thigh-high black boots she wears can only take her so far. There’s sparks of hope, but mostly things sour.   

Director Claire Denis has always been a formalist, but she juxtaposes that with sweeping camera movements and unusual sound design, all surrounding Isabelle as she attempts to figure it all out. The filmmaker’s scalpel is brutal, and it doesn’t take long for a conversation between Isabelle and one of her lovers to delve down into the abyss. But it is exhilarating to watch, with the tension of the most accomplished thriller. It’s intoxicating, and if that sounds like a fun way to spend 90 minutes, I think you will be rewarded by a deeper sense of the complexities of love.   

A note on the horrible American title, the original is Un beau Soleil Intérieur, which speaks to an inner light as opposed to letting one in (not to mention the silly Hair reference). Odd marketing choices aside, Let the Sunshine In has many pleasures for those seeking a languorous, provocative, and enchanting look at a woman who is trying to carve out something authentic.

 

 






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