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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
Certified Copy [DVD] [2010]
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on 7 October 2014
Juliette was good but contents not what I though .
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VINE VOICEon 3 December 2011
Reading through the reviews here on Amazon shows that "Certified Copy" has divided opinion very sharply. Apart from the people who couldn't see it through to the end (it's very naughty to lodge a review if you couldn't do that and I know Sam Goldwyn said his butt started to hurt when a movie got too long but that's no excuse!) there is a very wide divergence and that feature alone suggests this is a complex movie whose meaning can remain difficult to grasp.

In fact this film yields up its many themes very subtly and slowly. Indeed it is one of those pictures that stays with you long after it has finished. For what it's worth I think "Certifed Copy" is at one level at least a ghost story. It's quite possible to believe that only one of the main characters is "real". I shall say no more but merely encourage anyone interested in film to try it. Strongly recommended.
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on 12 September 2011
One of the finest works of Abbas Kiarostami, Certified Copy is a story of eternal love and understanding between man and woman. Set in beautiful Italy, it's a film-voyage showing relationship between two strangers pretending to be living together all their lives as husband and wife. But, these are only the roles they are taking, in order to bring back painful memories and reveal universal truth of marriage. Original and copy are in constant exchange, thus producing the tension and suffering, similar to that one experience in love and life. The performances of Juliette Binoche and William Shimell are stunning. Kiarostami shows delicate feelings with ease specific to great film authors.
DVD contains film and trailer. It deserves more for next edition. Much more!

Certified Copy [DVD]
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on 12 December 2010
Kiarostami's first film in Europe unravels the shifting ambiguities in the relationship between its two main characters, played by Juliette Binoche and William Shimell. What might on the face of it appear to be a pedestrian, predictable, and frankly middle-aged character piece turns out to be a nuanced and absorbing reflection on our self perception and its interplay with those closest to us.

Though little actually takes place in the film, the scenes which follow their conversations over the course of an afternoon are kept taut by the masterful script and its interpretation at the hands of Binoche and Shimell. Dramatic tension is maintained throughout by the uncertain status of the relationship. Are they married? Divorced? Or meeting the first time? Different scenarios seem more plausible at different points in the film, but this mammoth ambiguity is toyed with so subtly that ultimately you enter into a blissful interzone of sublime illogic reminiscent of Lynch's better work.

Inviting the audience to question the characters in this way causes us to examine every inflection, every gesture, just as Binoche and Shimell themselves are trying to interpret the reactions and intentions of the other. Which in turn draws attention to the quality of the acting. Binoche is astounding as the busy middle-class mother - it's certain that she identifies very strongly with the character and she really carries the film while the more aloof and fallible Shimell keeps his distance. Only during one scene does the acting look a bit ropey, as Shimell has an entirely unconvincing fit of anger in a restaurant (this is his first film role, he's actually an opera singer by profession), but this is soon swept out of mind by further developments, including an endearing cameo by Luis Buñuel's cowriter, Jean-Claude Carrière.

On the whole, a very intelligent and engaging piece that, while not quite a career-defining moment like Close Up [2007] [DVD], shows that Kiarostami can work his curious magic wherever he takes his camera.
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on 11 December 2013
I'm a Binoche fan since English Patient, and she does not disappoint here. There is the added bonus of luscious Italian contryside shot as is, and this gives a genuine feel of place. The English author character is a bit disappointing but he gives a good accoun t of himself in the added extras.
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on 27 January 2011
Certified Copy
Director Abbas Kiarostami starring Juliette Binoche and William Shimell (2010)
French, Italian and English with English subtitles
Acclaimed Persian director's first "Western" fiction piece. Not bad but suffers from under-editing and frustrating lack of clarity at points. Wrongly billed and sold as a romantic story, this is the depiction of a failed attempt to reconcile a failed marriage, the surviving elements of which are shown as dissonant bells fixed to a single church tower (the exit image in the last seconds of the film). She is French; he is English and the delightful location is Tuscany.
We get a pretty good set of uncomplimentary adjectives used by the one spouse upon the other and vice versa: she is said to be sentimental, beautiful, changed: he is said to be gentle, stubborn, irresponsible, cold. What she wants is a man who lives with her as she wants a husband to do; what he wants is a marriage to his work and never to be there. He is an art critic specialising in forgeries; she sells reproduction cherubs. A bit obvious? Perhaps less so than the title itself, obliquely referring to the fact that this marriage has a certificate but no underlying substance: the husband says in terms " I do not want to have to explain the obvious to you" and, rather implausibly, quotes a Persian poem~
"The garden of leaflessness, Who dare say that it is not beautiful?"
Well, me for a start. It is one thing to spot the outward and visible signs of a sex-free set-up and the irritations that go with that. It is quite another to convey power of understanding and there is nothing here to show understanding as distinct from observation (doubtless why apparently many viewers cannot tell whether the couple are divorced or separated). They are very clearly neither and are mutually locked in an immensely strong compulsive symbiotic relationship where the woman's treatment of her son is barely distinguishable from that of her husband. He is far from cold - his passion is control and he enjoys torturing his wife with absence and watching her beg for intimacy whilst he asserts affection but clears off. And as for their final trip to revisit the hotel room of their honeymoon (which he claims after 15 years to have forgotten - Oh Please!), the inability to convey the lock between them is down to the director not the actors. He is good on self-obsession and poor on mutual obsession. The problem really is that the power or magnetism of the woman's position is not seen as central. No husband would put up with this much sickly tantrummy begging unless it were essential to him. And of this there is no apparent recognition at all. The emotional immaturity of the husband is all but invisible.
The actors do very well. Shimell is helped by being a craggy drop-dead gorgeous hunk (with genuine physical faults like his teeth: Hollywood eat your heart out) and Binoche plays too perfectly the slightly dim, strident shrew to be beautiful apart from momentarily in the bathroom mirror (needless to say this being the shot used for the cover publicity).
The photography is interesting but one feels that before shooting the story needed a serious critique and not just enthusiasm. A good but not great film.
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on 12 October 2014
Fascinating film. Mysteriously the couple's relationship becomes completely unclear. Only one line near the end sets the story straight.
One for Juliette Binoche fans.
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on 12 November 2015
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on 6 September 2014
With a deliberately ambiguous plot and a slow, even tediously slow at times delivery of the story, Certified Copy has given rise to a range of views, with praise from some and almost contempt from others.

I am not sure exactly how I feel about this film. It has had me thinking about it since watching it the previous night. Singer, William Shimell puts in a good performance opposite the more experienced Juliette Binonche and the supporting cast and all the crew do a good job.

It is easy to see why it has caused such varied reviews here on amazon. The trailer for the film (which I had seen on a different DVD) hints at a film that for me does not happen in the main feature, and although I can appreciate the difficulty in encouraging an audience to watch a film without giving too much of it away, it shouldn’t be dishonest. That may be a criticism of the trailer rather than the film but if this is a review for the DVD of Certifies Copy (which contains the trailer) I think it is reasonable to mention this point as I had seen the trailer on another DVD and was encourage by the trailer to purchace a DVD of Certified Copy. Abass Kiarostami, the director, even states that the beginning of the film will have much of its audience unhappy because of its style and yet the trailer suggests a more cinematically familiar and entertaining film.

I think that ambiguity in a film, a novel, a play or fiction in general can be a good thing, but I am not sure about the way it was done in Certified Copy.
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on 15 April 2015
Absolute rubbish. The most boring DVD I have ever seen.
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