Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche combines her talents with much lauded French auteur Claire Denis in what is very French and ironic given its moniker.
Let The Sunshine In has the actress of films like Certified Copy, Clouds of Sils Maria and Cosmopolis working in a realm of philosophical comedy (perhaps what Nancy Meyers might do if high on pretentious insouciance).
Her Isabelle is recently divorced and an abstract Parisian painter sifting her way through men, mostly of the unsuitable and betrothed kind. A looking-for-love mystery ensues from her vulnerability and candor in the way Denis and co-scribe Christine Angot loosely connect to cultural theorist Roland Barthes. It flows from a kind of startling bewilderment to a canny candor and duplicity between the game, if wide-eyed Isabelle and those who have a chance to provide some joyful excitement.
Even certain discerning cineastes might find Denis's dabbling a mite patchy and unorthodox, as well as rather voluble. Still, its acuity surrounding its emotionally complex protagonist and her relationships may very well be underestimated from this approach.
Isabelle can be craven but also pointed when dealing with a boorish, hirsute and rotund banker (filmmaker Xavier Beauvois), a stranger Sylvain(Paul Blain), and a self-absorbed actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle). Not to mention her ex-husband with whom she has a child, Francois (Laurent Grevill), as the post-marital intimacy doesn't exactly go in the optimal course.
A nocturnal glow using a red and black palette comes from creative collaborator Agnes Godard to help Binoche highlight the hopes and pangs that come with a middle-aged woman who wants to be more than liked — warts and all. Maybe Let The Sunshine In opens into its ambiguity through an extended cameo from Gerard Depardieu as an out-of-the-blue distraught therapist projecting through the end credits to perhaps indicate where happiness truly lies.
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