Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

Certified Copy

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on January 13, 2012 at 4:10 PM


Abbas Kiarostami


IDEA:   A French woman strikes up a relationship with an English author giving a lecture on his book in Tuscany. As the day wears on, the actual nature of their acquaintance becomes less and less clear.

BLURB:   Two strangers meet and put on a charade of a long term relationship. An estranged couple tries to reconcile by reenacting a first date, or perhaps by role playing, before their bitter histories come into focus. A man and a woman who may or may not know each other and may or may not have once been married flirt and spar, becoming analogs for each others’ personal agonies. All of these scenarios and about 10 different variations of them occur simultaneously in Abbas Kiarostami’s astute, evasive roundabout of a film Certified Copy, in which eternal questions of time, perception, and relativity are put through the wringer and scrambled indefinitely. While the concept may fall a little too hard on the intellectually contrived, the ways in which Kiarostami and his actors navigate the seemingly endless possibilities of not just the central relationship, but the contextual themes that build and reinforce it, creates a conversation piece of brilliant depth. It’s a philosophical musing on how relationships move and mutate, on the ambiguous, amorphous nature of authenticity and truth, and finally and most exceptionally a self-reflexive statement on the very thing that it is: art – what makes it “real,” and what makes it meaningful. The dialogue on these notions may never end, but when we have such engaging vessels by which to express them, it hardly seems to matter. 

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