Let the Sunshine In

Let the Sunshine In. Claire Denis. 2017.

Hey! Denis! It’s a movie by my favourite living director! Sort of. I mean, I really liked Beau Travail and… the other movies, but I’ve been really disappointed by a couple of her most recent movies, like that gruesome vampire/cannibal movie she did er probably ten years ago.

After watching about ten minutes of this, I’m starting to wish this was about a vampire, because it seems to be about a woman with the shittiest boyfriend ever and I wish she’d just kill him? And I’m shocked (SHOCKED!) that Denis is doing the stunning woman/dumpy guy thing. I thought that was like over. There are good-looking men. They exist. Some of them are actors.

But let’s continue watching! Less typing! Denis!

[time passes]

OK, I WAS WRONG.

The movie is nothing like I wrote, annoyed, after the first five minutes. It’s brilliant.

It’s a kinda free-flowing, not very plot-heavy, associative movie. It’s mostly about… Binoche being amazing on the screen, and the cinematography being riveting. I mean, that’s it. It’s a magnetic viewing experience.

Some of the conversations seem aimless, but you feel that it all kinda makes sense. It does, however, start flagging about sixty minutes in, when it gets obvious that there’s no structure here, and nothing is really going to change in any way.

But then there’s the last scene, which I am unreasonably exited about! OK, I have to do something that I hate to do: Actually mention plot! Eww!

Binoche visits a… sooth sayer or something… played by Gérard Depardieu, for his only bit in the movie… and he says stuff… AND THEN THE TITLES START RUNNING! WHILE HE”S TALKING!

I know it’s not reasonable to be excited about something like that, but while watching it, it just felt so right. The entire Depardieu/Binoche scene seems totally improvised, and Binoche looks like she wants to crack up but then keeps it together, and it’s magic. With the titles.

I know, I can’t explain, but that little thing kinda echoes the best scene in movie history, that last scene in Beau Travail. It just seems like the inexplicably correct thing to end the movie with.

This is not a perfect movie, but it’s brilliant.

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