Why does a movie stick in your head and haunt you for days after viewing? That was my experience with director Claire Denis’ latest, BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE (2022), opening in theaters July 8 and streaming July 23. It surely has to do with the shattering intimacy of Juliette Binoche‘s beautifully modulated performance as “Sara,” an entitled Parisienne, who, by day, is a radio broadcaster, and, by night, ping-pongs between two guys.
It’s a French When Harry Met Sally!
When Sara met Jean (Vincent London), she was with Francois (Grégoire Colin) — and changed partners. Then, when the two guys reconnect, Sara again plays musical chairs — only to find she’s the odd woman out.
Yes, we’re in France — where women philander as well. Also very French is the film’s talkiness. The prime subject of conversation? L’amour. I couldn’t get enough of the lengthy discourses on the meaning of relationships, but I roll that way.
As for Binoche, the camera loves this brumous-eyed actress, who is aging spectacularly. With her Mona Lisa smile, she’s as gorgeous as Garbo. Movie features a marvelous character turn by no less than Bulle Ogier — playing a grandma!
Arts journalist Debra Levine is founder/editor/publisher of arts●meme.
BOTH SIDES OF THE BLADE | Laemmle Royal Theater | opens July 8