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Certified Copy (The Criterion Collection) [Blu-ray] (2010)

Juliette Binoche , William Shimell , Abbas Kiarostami  |  Unrated |  Blu-ray
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
  • Directors: Abbas Kiarostami
  • Format: Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Subtitled, Surround Sound, Widescreen, Multiple Formats
  • Language: English, French, Italian
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion Collection
  • DVD Release Date: May 22, 2012
  • Run Time: 106 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007A9EG8G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,396 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

  • New high-definition digital restoration, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray edition
  • New interview with director Abbas Kiarostami
  • Let’s See “Copia conforme,” an Italian documentary on the making of Certified Copy, featuring interviews with Kiarostami and actors Juliette Binoche and William Shimell
  • Trailer
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: A booklet featuring an essay by film critic Godfrey Cheshire

  • Editorial Reviews

    The great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami (Close-up) travels to Tuscany for a luminous and provocative romance in which nothing is as it appears. What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people played by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche (Blue) and opera singer William Shimell getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier: a mind-bending reflection on authenticity, in art as well as in relationships. Both cerebrally and emotionally engaging, Certified Copy (Copie conforme) reminds us that love itself is an enigma.

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    51 of 56 people found the following review helpful
    Note that this review is for the film itself, which I saw in theaters (twice); I'm waiting for the Criterion Edition to ship (May 22) before I pick up my own copy.

    An author on tour to promote his book has an apparently chance meeting with a French woman (Juliette Binoche), and their encounter proves to be something far more than casual. He proposes in his book that a copy, an imitation, is as good as the genuine article, and while he appears to confine his thesis to works of art, what follows suggests that she may be testing to see how far it extends to life itself. The latest film by celebrated Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami is also his first to be filmed outside of his native country. Starring Juliette Binoche (who took home the best actress award at Cannes for her stunningly enigmatic performance in this film), Certified Copy starts from a premise that promises an exotic love story, and gradually turns into a subtle and profound meditation on art, memory, truth, and identity.

    To give a quick sense of the feel of this remarkable film I might suggest it combines the conversational intimacy of Before Sunset and the intellectual intrigue of Last Year at Marienbad. The problem is that comparison makes this seem like a derivative work, that merely copies elements of established works. It's not. Like all of the works I've seen by Abbas Kiarostami, this is a true original. Or if its a copy, it's a genuine copy. It's a fascinating film, that I've seen twice now, and that I look forward to watching again, since I got even more from it the second time.
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    32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
    Perhaps you remember the 1995 hit "Before Sunrise," with Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy, where a couple of young strangers spend an evening together in Vienna, mostly talking about life and relationships?

    "Certified Copy" is a similar dialogue-driven film that takes place in a small village in Tuscany during the course of one day. It's the story of a middle-aged art dealer (Binoche) who invites a British author on tour (Shimel) for a day in the countryside. As the two visit the various museums, churches, and trattorias, and as their conversation progresses, we find there's more to the relationship than meets the eye, and from there the plot takes some completely unexpected turns.

    Despite what the trailer makes you believe, this is not a romantic movie about seduction; it's an intelligent and philosophical film about how our expectations affect our perspective, about originality and point of view. It's also a daring puzzle of a movie, and it engages you in the game without you even knowing it.

    Binoche is radiant in this film, showing emotions with every raised eyebrow, telling entire stories without saying a word. She actually puts a spell on you! And shifting effortlessly between English, French, and Italian, her charismatic persona drives this minimalistic film from one scene to the next.

    Like a good piece of art, "Certified Copy" gives you plenty of room to make your own interpretations, and like a good brain game, it will make you think, a lot.
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    40 of 47 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, elliptical, and obscure May 23, 2011
    You thought you would be settling down to watch just another love story: distinguished, older English-speaking man meets younger, sexy European woman while on a trip to Italy, and romance follows predictably. Ostensibly, this is the way the movie begins; and you settle in, waiting for the first kiss, and waiting for the love story to unfold. But it does not unfold at all. Things just get strange and more complicated as the movie progresses. James Miller, a deeply cynical and emotionally cold writer, on a visit to Italy to promote his book, meets a charming French woman who wants to show him rural Tuscany, and to revisit the town where they were hastily married fifteen years ago.

    There are differing opinions as to what exactly transpires in this film. Certainly it's open to more than one interpretation. One is that James and the woman (Binoche), although initially not married or even acquainted, "take on" the roles of estranged husband and wife. This interpretation seems very unconvincing to me, since there is no motive as to why they should do this, nor why James should treat this charming and attractive woman in such a shabby way, if they were just playing roles. If they are only playing at being husband and wife, then what is the point of the movie?

    After viewing the film several times, it seemed clear to me that they had once been lovers, she had gotten pregnant, they had hastily married, then later separated from one another. The film (mostly) hangs together with this interpretation, but not entirely. There is one spot where James asks the woman "Where (or when) did you get married?", as if he has no idea that he is her husband. Also, James has no memory at all of their wedding night, or where they were married. Nor has he much interest in her young son.
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    12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars A Love Story of Many Faces December 31, 2011
    Format:Amazon Instant Video
    So the theme is change through time and there are at least three stories in the plot, if not more. The director lashes out the magic of languages to change the lanscape of a love story. But because the actors haven't changed their look and age, I was first baffled, dazzled, too, by the illusion of time standing still for 15 years. After the movie, I realized, time changes here as well. In a nutshell, English tells the first story, how a man and woman get together. Then, Italian tells the second story where and when a married couple drifts apart, with a newly-wed couple in contrast and an older couple in comparison. Lastly, the third story, in French, tells the inevitable disillusion of all relationships. Men are inconstant and women fragile, or vice versa. That's how good this movie is. That's how rare and baffled this movie could be. Its scope is large and its audience preselected. Certified Copy is not for wiser viewers, nor for the inexperienced. I feel it is a movie for me, for middle-aged men and women who suffer their lives with attachment and detachment of love at the moment.
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    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    4.0 out of 5 stars good acting a kind of extended date in Tuscany with philosophical...
    good director and actors made me choose to watch
    several open questions on a small plot twist
    part of what remains and enigma is part of the point from the book that the... Read more
    Published 5 days ago by Pablo Jenkins
    3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    Like all French movies the ending was inconclusive and the story a little bizarre. However, for my purpose which is to learn French, the lines were easy to understand. Read more
    Published 6 days ago by Yvonne Stokoe
    3.0 out of 5 stars Life happens this way when people are thoughtful
    I liked the way the camera follows a day's events and conversation. Seemed real. And, the conversation was thoughtful--and thought provoking. Read more
    Published 9 days ago by Terry J. Barker
    2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
    Starts off promising, but gets more and more disappointing. Almost the entire movie is a conversation between two people. Occasionally a third or fourth party gets involved. Read more
    Published 16 days ago by W. McDonnal
    2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
    I love movies - all types of movies. I was very much looking forward to watching this movie since the reviews were so positive. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Jane Martin
    5.0 out of 5 stars Certified Copy--Spiritual death in 3 languages with subtitles.
    Certified copy is a bit of an intriguing puzzle.. because the director is Iranian&after all what do they know? Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Judith Pugsley
    4.0 out of 5 stars The Vulnerability of Love
    "Certified Copy" is true to life, from first frame to last. It plays like two very real people trying to re-explore their abandoned relationship, while leisurely walking... Read more
    Published 1 month ago by richievee
    4.0 out of 5 stars Subtle but brilliant rendition of the disintegration of marriage.
    (Spoilers) This is a relatively new submission filmed in Italy in spoken French/Italian with English subtitles. Read more
    Published 1 month ago by Get Serious
    3.0 out of 5 stars Another "Did we miss something?" French flick
    Love French movies, but lately they seem to be working very hard to obscure the timeline of events. This is a well-acted and well-directed film with a script that works hard at... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by C. M. Ault
    5.0 out of 5 stars A surrealist love story
    This movie seems to inhabit a space in my memory that is usually reserved for paintings. At first you will mistake this for a love story, using the art and culture of a specific... Read more
    Published 2 months ago by Adam Voorhees
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