Monday, April 22, 2013


"Stream My Reels" is a weekly column that will feature one recommended streaming title from many different sources (Netflix, OnDemand, Amazon Prime, Hulu, etc.).

This week's film Certified Copy comes from the acclaimed Iranian director, Abbas Kiarostami.  If you haven't seen any of his work yet, you are missing out.  Even today, his film Close-Up received many nominations as the best film of the past 25 years at Criticwire.  As much as I love that film, my favorite of his work continues to be Certified Copy, starring the lovely Juliette Benoche and William Shimell.  For fans of the spectacular Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, this film should be right up your alley.

Certified Copy is in many ways a feature-length discussion on the value of art and whether or not an original work carries just as much value as its copy.  This discussion plays out with the hills and cities of Tuscany in long continuous shots that utilize all kinds of camera techniques (mirrors, creative framing, and composition) to further comment on the value of not only art, but reality itself.  To discuss much more of the plot would do a great disservice to the film.  Suffice to say, the film is beautiful, romantic, ponderous, funny, and above all challenging.

Certified Copy's machinations and questions demand a second viewing, but it is the performances that prove to be the most captivating.  Juliette Benoche has always been an enthralling screen-actor but with Certified Copy she is allowed to dominate the screen and really reveal herself.  Her performance requires that she be constantly adapting and adjusting to not only new situations but also new roles and motivations.
Certified Copy will challenge some viewers and the best of them will step up the challenge and be rewarded for it in a way that they won't be prepared for.  With time, Certified Copy only stands out more and more as an incredible film from an incredible director.

"Certified Copy" is now available for instant streaming on Netflix Watch Instant.


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