Foreign Film Friday: Let the Sunshine In review - muddled, marginally satisfying anti-romance drama
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Claire Denis' inimitable eye feels more distant than usual. Let the Sunshine In perhaps only marks a departure for Claire Denis insomuch as it ditches both the evocative sensuality of Nenette and Boni and the colonial angst of White Material and Chocolat (both qualities were married in perfect harmony for Beau Travail). Instead, Sunshine is a straight-arrow romantic comedy, or Denis’ version of such a thing – an anti-romantic comedy, if you will. She seems just as unafraid to play with structure and the cadence of dialogue as she always was, but this time there is an aimlessness to the entire affair. In a rather frank introduction, Juliette Binoche’s Isabelle takes centre stage. She is a philosophising, anxiety-ridden character, whose over-thinking forms the driving force of the entire narrative. Following her around the dating scene, every exchange she has with a lover or a friend can be jack-knifed from civility, even eroticised devotion, to hostility and scorn. It seems she is unable to crack the dating game, or at least, not without some intense existential crises to pull her backwards with each forward-step.
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