Non-Fiction (Doubles Vies)
Olivier Assayas returns to the Lido with a comedy-drama starring Guillaume Canet and Juliette Binoche. Non-Fiction centres around a publisher (Canet) whose company is dealing with a slow decline of sales and the need to digitalise their catalogue. At the same time, he struggles to carry out the rejection of one of his authors (Vincent Macaigne) and prevent the deterioration of the relationship with his wife (Binoche).
The film depicts contemporary Parisian bourgeois, a middle-class who is still recovering from the 2008 crisis, with the refinement and irony that French directors such as Assayas possess. The performances of the three leads as well as Nora Hamzawi and Christa Theret drive this simple yet delightful movie.
The continuous discussion of the digital market opportunities (and difficulties) for a publishing company sounds a bit anachronistic from time to time; however, Assayas’s script eventually delves a little deeper, making new, interesting considerations. There’s an underlying theme of loss of confidence in the French economy and politics, which wears out the characters’ lives and relationships – professional and otherwise. Even in the more discouraging situations, Non-Fiction keeps a subtly hilarious tone.
While there isn’t a particular aspect of the film that stands out, the overall harmony, and the authenticity of the dialogues, makes it an enjoyable watch. Despite the smooth writing and narrative though, there are prolonged moments when some of the main actors do not appear on screen, hindering – to a limited yet perceivable extent – the truthfulness of the storytelling. Non-Fiction is, anyhow, a perfect recipe for intelligent and subconsciously thought-provoking filmmaking.
Non-Fiction (Doubles Vies) does not have a UK release date yet.
Read more reviews from our Venice Film Festival 2018 coverage here.
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