A flamboyant English teacher (Clive Owen) and a new, stoic art teacher (Juliette Binoche) collide at an upscale prep school. A high-spirited courtship begins and she finds herself enjoying the battle. Another battle they begin has the students trying to prove which is more powerful, the word or the picture. But the true war is against their own demons, as two troubled souls struggle for connection.Written by
In the scene in which Jack Marcus destroys his living room, the music in the background is David Bowie's "The Stars (Are Out Tonight)" from his album The Next Day. Clive Owen insisted on using this on the soundtrack rather than the classical music that director Fred Schepisi preferred. See more »
Searching, in all aspects of their lives, for those with "fire in the belly" and expressions and lives that are meaningful, Dina (Juliette Binoche) and Jack (Clive Owen) do not suffer fools gladly. Dina, also known as the "Icicle," is the new art teacher rumored to have caned a student in New York. She is struggling, physically and mentally, to overcome a disability as well as the loss of a spouse. Jack, irascible and usually drunk, is an English teacher with his job, family and life on the line due to his drinking and drought in the publishing department. The two loose cannons, headstrong and determined in their ways, are entwined in a jovial workplace argument over the primacy of words and pictures. Both Dina and Jack struggle to reawaken desire and hope in themselves as well as their students. They have each other to look to, for better and worse. Binoche and Owen are, of course, wonderful and charming in their roles. Their romance has chemistry. It is a worthwhile film just to see how Binoche transitions from Paris to rural Maine (and she does so deftly and with panache). Weighed down a bit by awkward student actor performances, the words and pictures battle is never the less intriguing, and the film as a whole is absorbing and delightful. Seen at the 2014 Miami International Film Festival.
9 of 11 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this