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Let the Sunshine In
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Let the Sunshine In

Let the Sunshine In

Claire Denis has confected one of the festival’s most unexpectedly delightful movies, showing in the Directors Fortnight sidebar. It’s an elegant, eccentric relationship comedy of ideas, highly rarefied and possessed of an almost inscrutable sophistication: the film has been co-written by Denis and novelist Christine Angot, reportedly inspired, in the loosest sense, by Roland Barthes’s prose meditation A Lovers Discourse: Fragments. The director has however warned audiences off the idea of seeing it as any sort of adaptation.

This is grownup film-making, more savoury than sweet, seductive, oblique and carried by a wonderfully smart and emotionally generous performance from Juliette Binoche – who delivers the material superbly, material which from almost anyone else would sound dyspeptic or absurd. (Isabelle Huppert would have been wrong in the role, though it’s amusing to imagine it.)

The drama (if that is the correct word) features Binoche as Isabelle, a divorced artist in Paris. She is now single, lives alone, and unable to decide if searching for the One is an urgent priority or a fatuity which is preventing her from enjoying life and experiencing pleasure. She has lovers and these liaisons are dangerous in that they don’t seem to provide the satisfaction they ought.