WEEK IN WOMEN: Juliette Binoche honored at Spain’s San Sebastian Film Fest – Brandy McDonnell reports

The San Sebastian International Film Festival will honor French movie star Juliette Binoche with one of its Donostia Awards, the Spanish fest’s career achievement prize. She will receive the award in recognition of her extensive career, “which has seen her play almost 75 characters, from power-wielding heroines to fragile beings, with historical figures, drama roles and comedy parts along the way.”

Plus, the poster for the 70th San Sebastian Film Festival features a portrait of Binoche taken by French photographer Brigitte Lacombe.

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BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE – Review by Leslie Combemale

Spending time with an old and not entirely extinguished flame when in a supposedly happy relationship is always a bad idea. It will be an ill-advised test of willpower at best, and at worst the height of hubris. That’s what happens in director Claire Denis’s romantic drama Both Sides of the Blade, which Denis wrote with co-screenwriter Christine Angot, based on Angot’s 2018 novel Un Tournant de Vie (A Turning Point of Life). They’ve created a visceral, intense slow burn about a destructive love triangle that spirals out of control with the help of stars Juliette Binoche, Vincent Lindon, and Grégoire Colin. Denis won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 72nd Berlin International Film Festival for her work on the film.

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MOVIE OF THE WEEK September 3, 2021: WHO YOU THINK I AM

The power of love, the need for validation, and the nature of identity are compellingly tangled in Who You Think I Am, director Safy Nebbou’s adaptation of French writer Camille Laurens’ novel. Juliette Binoche stars as Claire Millaud, an accomplished academic who’s drifting and lonely in the wake of a midlife divorce. Her impulsive decision one night to pose as a much younger woman online leads to both joy and heartbreak.

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WHO YOU THINK I AM – Review by Loren King

Who You Think I Am had me at Juliette Binoche, and Binoche’s character, French literature professor Claire, had me at the mention of Marguerite Duras. Yes, this smart and textured dark comedy of manners-meets-Hitchcockian thriller deftly mixes Claire’s feminist viewpoint lectures about Duras, Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, and Les Liaisons Dangereuses with a deliciously twisty and topical plot about Claire’s dangerous dalliances on social media.

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WHO YOU THINK I AM – Review by Susan Wloszczyna

Director Safy Nebbou’s best move was to hire the still-fabulous Juliette Binoche to play a desperately lonely French lit professor in Who You Think I Am. They may try to hide her beauty behind reading glasses and messy hair, but the actress is still as glowing as she was in 1996’s The English Patient and her commitment to this sometimes strained social-media conceit is quite riveting to observe.

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THE TRUTH – Review by Brandy McDonnell

The French-language family drama marks the first film written and directed by Hirokazu Kore-eda outside his native Japan. But “The Truth” has such an air of authenticity that it seems like the auteur, who won the 2018 Palme d’Or at France’s Cannes Film Festival for “Shoplifters,” has been making movies in Paris his whole life.

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