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Interview: Juliette Binoche Paints in Schepisi Romance 'Words and Pictures,' Challenged Assayas to Write Cannes Entry 'Sils Maria' (EXCLUSIVE VIDEO, TRAILER)

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by Anne Thompson
June 4, 2014 10:23 PM
1 Comment
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Juliette Binoche
Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen in "Words and Pictures"

Oscar-winner Juliette Binoche ("The English Patient") is the best reason to see Fred Schepisi's "Words and Pictures" (new trailer below), a light romantic comedy about two rival high school teachers. Clive Owen's English teacher with a drinking problem falls for Binoche's art teacher trying to paint as she battles rheumatoid arthritis. They engage in a war of words vs. pictures that ignites them as well as their students.

Some of the best scenes involve Binoche sprawled belly-down on a swirling chair as she maneuvers a giant paint brush, splashing wide swatches of color on her canvas. It turns out, I learned from our interview in Toronto (below), that she came up with this visual idea, based on her research. She created the paintings in the film herself.

Binoche broke out at age 23 in Philip Kaufman's "The Unbearable Lightness of Being," opposite Daniel Day Lewis, followed by "The Widow of St. Pierre," "Certified Copy," "Cache," "Chocolat," and more. She works closely with her directors, and brings them material.

I'm excited by her next project, "Sils Maria," which arose from an idea she brought to "Summer Hours" writer-director Olivier Assayas. She wanted him to do a film focused on women and he came up with the goods. She co-stars with Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz in the movie, which won raves at Cannes. When she talks about it her face lights up.

"Words and Pictures" opened limited on May 23, and expands on June 6.

1 Comment

  • Brian | June 5, 2014 12:03 PMReply

    When I saw the trailer for WORDS AND PICTURES, I was surprised at the flawless American accent that came out of Binoche's mouth. My last exposure to her was her seriously French-accented acceptance speech at the Oscars the year she beat out Lauren Bacall. (Was that 18 years ago?!) Then she pops up in GODZILLA with an American accent for the few minutes of screen time she has before her character is written out of the film.

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