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While promoting his latest book in Italy, a middle-aged English writer meets a French woman from the art world and sets off to San Gimignano with her.
For more about Certified Copy and the Certified Copy Blu-ray release, see Certified Copy Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on March 19, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.5 out of 5.
Director: Abbas Kiarostami
Writer: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell, Jean-Claude Carrière
» See full cast & crew
Certified Copy Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, March 19, 2011
Winner of Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's "Copie conforme" a.k.a "Certified Copy" (2010) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye. The supplemental features on the disc include the film's original UK theatrical trailer and a standard making of featurette. In French, Italian, and English, with optional English subtitles for the main feature. Region-Free.
The film begins with a dull press conference for the Italian translation of James Miller's (William Shimell) latest book. While he utters a series of cliched statements and thanks the translator (Angelo Barbagallo), the camera follows a beautiful middle-aged woman, Elle (Juliette Binoche, The Lovers on the Bridge), who arrives late and immediately begins making signs to a young boy (Adrian Moore) in the opposite corner of the hall. She does not seem impressed by the writer's speech, but one of his comments about original art, copies and life piques her interest. Before she leaves with the boy, Elle gives her business card to the translator. If James has the time, she would love to speak with him.
James visits Elle's antique shop and they decide to take a drive through beautiful Tuscany. In the car they begin a fascinating conversation that somehow transitions from art to relationships and love. Soon it becomes clear that both have been through a lot in their lives and had a fair share of disappointments. In the Tuscan village of Lucignano, they visit a gallery, and then a cozy café. The owner (Gianna Giachetti, Bagnomaria) of the café assumes that Elle and James are married - and for the rest of the day they pretend to be a couple.
Or do they? As the film progresses, Elle and James recall some of the best moments they have shared together during the years. They also argue. Both admit that they have made mistakes that could have easily been avoided. They also agree that they clearly had different expectations from each other.
James appears pessimistic about the future of their relationship. As they observe a happy couple of newlyweds, he casually comments that they are bound to experience many bitter disappointments. It is inevitable.
Elle is not as pessimistic. For her it was all worth it - and it still is. They are older now, and perhaps a bit jaded, but she still needs to be loved. She is still in love with James. Without him her life would have been empty, absolutely pointless. Surely James must feel the same about her.
Before the day is over, Elle and James befriend an older French couple. They give them a valuable advice. After they part ways, the two end up in a small family run hotel, in the same room where years ago they spent an unforgettable night.
Beautiful film, so honest. When Binoche's character looks straight into the camera, one knows exactly what torments her soul. She is still beautiful but life appears to have taken away her ability to inspire the man she loves. There is a short episode in which she puts on her lipstick and a pair of earrings and then walks back into the restaurant where James will have dinner with her. She has made herself beautiful for him, but he does not seem to care. Has he stopped seeing in her what he used to?
Shimell, an opera singer, is shockingly good. His character is a moody, proud man who might have given up on love – or simply realized that he cannot give as much as he used to. He can still love Elle, but he needs time for himself. Does this mean that he is an egoist?
For her performance in Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy last year Binoche won the Best Actress Award at the Cannes Film Festival, but everyone involved with the film should have been recognized. The acting, the direction, the cinematography, and the editing are simply superb.
Certified Copy Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye.
Shot with the Red One Camera, Certified Copy looks fantastic on Blu-ray. Fine object detail and especially clarity are quite remarkable. When the camera studies Juliette Binoche's face (and there are so many beautiful close-ups in the film), the depth, sharpness and fluidity the transfer conveys are simply outstanding. I share the opinion that screenshots rarely reveal everything one needs to know about a transfer, but take a look at the ones we have provided with this review, as I believe that you should be able to get a pretty good idea of how exceptionally strong the presentation is. Finally, I was particularly impressed with the color reproduction. The variety of reds, blues, greens, yellows, browns, grays, and blacks look exceptionally rich yet strikingly natural. Frankly, many of the panoramic scenes from Lucignano look like moving pictures. Indeed, a fantastic presentation of a fantastic film. (Note: This is a Region-Free Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you will be able to play it on your PS3 or SA regardless of your geographical location. For the record, there is no problematic PAL or 1080/50i content preceding the disc's main menu).
Certified Copy Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There is only one audio track on this Blu-ray disc: French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (with portions of Italian and English). For the record, Artificial Eye have provided optional English subtitles for the main feature.
Certified Copy is primarily a dialog-driven film, but those of you who pay attention to detail will be very pleased with the strong loseless treatment. In addition to the exceptionally crisp and clean dialog, there are various random noises (cars passing by, kids playing, birds chirping, creaky old stairs, etc.,) that enhance beautifully the film's wonderful atmosphere. (Please note that the optional English subtitles appear only when English isn't spoken).
Certified Copy Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Note: The supplemental features included on this disc are perfectly playable on all North American Blu-ray machines, including the PS3.
Certified Copy Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami's Certified Copy is a witty, thought-provoking and irresistibly romantic film. I loved every single minute of it. The Blu-ray disc herein reviewed, courtesy of British distributors Artificial Eye, looks and sounds fantastic. It is also Region-Free. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
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Certified Copy Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Certified Copy Announced on Blu-ray - November 17, 2010
Artificial Eye has announced Certified Copy (Copie conforme) for Blu-ray release on January 17. This drama, directed by Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, premiered at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it earned Juliette Binoche the Best Actress Award.
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