Let the Sunshine In, Claire Denis’ first collaboration with Juliette Binoche, is a sensuous, playful and elliptic exploration of the absurdities, illogics, vagaries and capriciousness of love. And, that middle-age romance outside the conventional realms of marital relationships was the focus here, added an interesting dimension to it. However, that said, it was also incoherent, frothy, flippant and self-consciously arty. The film’s central protagonist is Isabelle (Binoche), a divorced middle-aged Parisian painter, who’s tireless and unwise in her constant quest for love, thus often leaving her lonely, desperate and heartbroken. It begins with her relationship to a wealthy banker (Xavier Beauvois) who’s clearly besotted with her, but is also rude, arrogant and unsubtle in decision to not leave his wife for her. Next she has a tentative one-night stand with a thespian who takes some coaxing to respond to her overtures, but later expresses guilt for having cheated on his wife, thus spoiling the possibilities for her. Next in line is a stranger who refuses to introduce her to his friends, which leaves her piqued. She even temporarily starts seeing her ex-husband again, only for it to quickly end in a fight. And finally, a tender connect develops with a colleague from the art world (Alex Descas), but, despite her impatience, he prefers not to rush. The affairs were at times funny and mischievous, while staid and exasperating at others, and the finale involving Gérard Depardieu as a hulking love guru bordered on the pretentious. What turned out as the film’s best aspect, therefore, was Binoche’s delectable turn as the fickle, confused and easily heartbroken artist who keeps falling in love to her own emotional detriment.
Director: Claire Denis
Genre: Drama/Romantic Drama