Review

  • Doubles vies (2018) (literally Double Lives) is a French film that was shown in the U.S. with the title Non-Fiction. The movie was written and directed by Olivier Assayas.

    Guillaume Canet as publisher Alain Danielson, who is married to the TV actress Slena (Juliette Binoche). They are friends with another couple, author Léonard Spiegel (Vincent Macaigne) and political consultant Valerie, portrayed Nora Hamzawi. Into the mix comes Laure d'Angerville played by Christa Théret. She works for Alain as "Head of Digital Transition."

    Because this is a French film, everyone sleeps with everyone else, and everyone gathers in groups of four, six, or eight to talk, talk, and talk. (They also gather in cafes to talk.)

    Nothing is going quite right for any of them, and they are all dissatisfied with their lives. This is despite the fact that they are beautiful, successful, relatively wealthy people. (Remember this is a French film.)

    On the positive side is that the acting is excellent, the plot moves forward steadily, if slowly, and the movie embodies everything I know about French intellectuals. OK--it's true that all I know about French intellectuals is what I've seen in movies about French intellectuals. Even so, by that criterion it looks right.

    If you like dialog films, with great French actors, this film is for you. If you like movies with more action and less talk, then Non-Fiction isn't for you.

    We saw on the large screen at Rochester's great Little Theatre. It will work well enough on the small screen.

    I think it's worth seeing, but I'm somewhat prejudiced, because I have wanted to see La Binoche act ever since "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" in 1988.