Non-Fiction (Double Vies): Venice Film Review

I became a fan of Olivier Assayas after Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper and he’s done it once again with Non-Fiction, a French romance comedy starring Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet.

Binoche is Selena, an actress who is getting a bit fed up of her starring role on a police procedural show. She is married to book publisher Alain and their marriage seems like a happy one – except they are both having affairs. Alain with his work colleague Laure (Christa Theret) and Selena with Alain’s author client Leonard (Vincent Macaigne), even though he’s in a long term relationship with Valerie (Nora Hamzawi).

I know Assayas for his serious dramas and supernatural horrors and it’s safe to say he can do comedy too. The comedy here isn’t apparent immediately and it’s not comprised of obvious jokes, but their situation gets increasingly complicated and how it all goes down is fun and a joy to watch.

The plot isn’t the most original in the book but the actors bring it to life and the script is excellent. They spend a lot of time having these deep, intellectual conversations about the future of books, how the Internet has changed how we consume writing, trust in politics etc and I devoured it. Some people may consider it pretentious but I drank it all in as these are conversations I’m genuinely interested in and I liked hearing the characters debate about it. It was fascinating.

Binoche and Canet were a lot of fun but the main revelations were Macaigne as this writer who uses his love life as obvious inspiration for his books, and Valerie, his no-nonsense girlfriend. She was sassy and I liked her very much.

Non-Fiction will not appeal to everybody but I enjoyed it from start to finish. I relished the dialogue and the characters, and how they interacted together. I laughed a ton and came away feeling uplifted. Well done!

UK release information currently unknown 

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  1. […] because I saw them in Venice. You can read my reviews for Roma, The Favourite, Suspiria and Non-Fiction by clicking on the […]

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