Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas, 2018): France

Film reviewed by Jack Chase. Viewed at AFI Fest 2018.

Image result for non fiction 2018 filmOlivier Assayas’ “Non-Fiction” is a revelation.

From its smart, lyrical dialogue to its simplistic, yet effective, composition and satirical undercurrents, it serves as nothing short of intellectually nourishing and refreshing, while not to mention heart-stopping hilarious.

Originally entitled “Double Lives” or “Doubles vies,” we primarily follow Guillaume Canet (“Love Me If You Do”), starring as a cynical editor for a Parisian publishing company, Vincent Macaigne (“The Innocents”) as the misunderstood, if not slightly obtuse, novelist and the wonderful Juliette Binoche (“The English Patient”) as the editor’s wife, an actress for a dead-end network cop show.

The film in and of itself focuses on a variety of themes, from technology to infidelity, exploring, essentially, the obliviousness and deliberate acts of self-preservation rampant amongst the fading generation. It is a social satire that works both ends, serving as a poignant, very real portrait of the state of our culture as well as a supremely amusing, mocking display of our own hypocrisy and narcissism.

I can confidently say that it was my favorite viewing at AFIFest, simply due to its ingenious ensemble and masterful direction. If you’re one for rich, stimulating dialogue, authentic performances and cutthroat humor, this new foreign gem is for you.

 

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