Thursday, September 9, 2021

Juliette Binoche as a youth-obsessed woman

The French movie, Who You Think I Am, conflates a variety of issues, principal among them perilous games that can be played on social media and the way time impacts women who long for the days when they still could turn heads. It should come as no surprise that Juliette Binoche plays Claire Millaud,  a professor of literature who tries to determine why a younger lover abandoned her. In the process, Claire uses social media to create a fictional avatar, a sexy 24-year-old woman who captivates her former lover’s roommate (Francois Civil).  As the game — if that’s what it is — progresses, Binoche’s character and her new young admirer form a virtual bond that both begin to take seriously. For Claire, the ruse provides a way of recapturing the feelings of her youth, how she felt about herself before her husband left her for a younger woman. Claire, who tells her story to a psychiatrist (Nicole Garcia), has two sons but her obsession with turning back the clock takes precedence over everything else. Of course, reality and fiction eventually must collide and director Safy Nebbou finds ways to make the collision interesting. Who You Think I Am can be a little too self-consciously tricky, but the movie stands as an intriguing and disturbing character study. Binoche makes Claire real and never less than intriguing as a woman who might be delusional, devious, bitter, or sensual -- perhaps all of the above.

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