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film review

Juliette Binoche in Let the Sunshine In.Mongrel media

  • Un beau soleil intérieur (Let the Sunshine In)
  • Directed by Claire Denis
  • Written by Claire Denis and Christine Angot
  • Starring Juliette Binoche
  • Classification 14A
  • 94 minutes


2 out of 4 stars

If a date confessed that he drank a lot, often became violent and had yet to inform his wife that their marriage was over, would you stay for the next course? This small and sad character piece from the provocative French director Claire Denis follows the divorced artist Isabelle as she goes looking for love from louts and losers.

As we watch Isabelle earnestly digest the self-serving monologues of her many men (and deliver a few of her own), the charismatic Juliette Binoche does regularly elicit powerful sympathy for a woman seeking a life-defining love, while scenes of bad sex are remarkable for their bravery. Still, if it weren’t for Binoche’s warmth, the film might easily sink beneath the stereotype of French culture as overly talky and sex obsessed.

Finally, her anxious Isabelle is apparently rescued by wise words from a fortune teller – an unlikely cameo for Gérard Depardieu – which feels like a master stroke until you realize that he is just making a play for her too.