20 May 2018 | paul-allaer
Watch it for Juliette Binoche's towering performance
"Let the Sunshine In" (2017 release from France; 94 min.; original title "Un beau soleil intérieur") brings the story of Isabelle. As the movie opens, we see Isabelle, naked, and making love to a guy we later learn is married (but not to Isabelle). Isabelle is enjoying a week of relative freedom as her 10 yr. old daughter is away at her dad's, Isabelle's former husband Francois. Soon we learn that Isabelle is deeply unhappy and restless about where she is in her life, and her love life in particular. At this point we're 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.
Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from French writer-director Claire Denis. Here she gets to work with one of France's treasures, actress Juliette Binoche. Binoche carries this movie on her shoulders from start to finish, and along the way exposes herself in ways I can't recall before. And it has to be said: Binoche is not in her mid-50s but she looks at least 10 years younger. The movie is what one could generalize as being a "typical French talkie", in which there is a lot, a LOT, of conversation and not much else. The director had the great sense of letting scenes play out, for minutes on, without interruption, as if we are simply a fly on the wall listening in on strangers talking. And yet, for all that closeness, I couldn't find myself all that emotionally invested in the movie or these characters. Yes, one feels that Binoche is delivering a towering performance but so what? Last but not least, Gerard Depardieu makes an appearance at the very end of the movie, as a fortune teller of some sort.
""Let the Sunshine In" premiered at last year's Cannes film festival, to positive acclaim (mostly for Juliette Binoche's performance). Almost exactly a year later, this movie finally showed up at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Saturday matinee performance where I saw this at was not attended well (4 people, including myself), I honestly can't see this playing in the theater very long. If you are interested in "French talkies" or a character study of a woman struggling with various relationships (think "An Unmarried Woman" or "Starting Over"), I'd suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.