Certified Copy

Certified Copy ★★★★½

If there was an argument or discussion to be had with Kiarostami here then it quickly falls into a one-sided conversation, one clear winner triumphing over its opponent. The idea that a replicant sustains as much value as the subject it imitates has already been proven across an immeasurable amount of time, from the instinctive moment our imagination interacted with those around us. But can we watch that obvious transformation take place before our eyes, challenging a perception that asks us to transport ourselves into the unknown?

The opening scene of Certified Copy suggests of level of academia not always present throughout the film. As James offers a short insight into the construction of his recently released novel we cut to Juliette Binoche in her parental role, attempting to placate her obviously bored son in the corner of the room. A balance between intelligentsia and a common ground not so easy to achieve that flows so easily here.

The demands of art and life's daily grind occupy the same space asking us to question how one leads to the other and vice versa. Is one more important or do they have to co-exist or live separately in order to prevail? Is our focus on origination a vain attempt to substantiate our understanding of history rather than concentrating on the value of each individual item independently?

All of which takes place within a naturally confined space we can all understand, Kiarostami shifting the plates from underneath our feet with our complete blessing. At one point these are two strangers dancing around the authors (James) philosophical thoughts and in an organically shifting moment the emphasis moves into a realistic testing ground for these ideas, thoughts which become increasingly relevant by the time the credits arrive.

Juliette Binoche drives the emotional power of the film from the moment she first interacts with her son to the devastating final scene in the small hotel room. If any doubt existed with regards to fake v original then this emotional juncture exudes enough honesty to realise where the truth really lives and breathes. By the end it is hard to recall how the story began such is the convincing power of its imitation.

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