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 »
I almost opted out of seeing Words and Pictures but I'm very happy that I saw it. The movie is about a high school English teacher who was once an acclaimed publisher but lost his creativity because he thinks it's not appreciated by his students and drowns his sorrows in alcohol. He is played by Clive Owen who performed brilliantly. He intersects with a new world renowned Art teacher played by Juliette Binoche who is struggling to maintain her ability to create due to a debilitating medical condition which physically prevented her from painting with fine strokes. Juliette Binoche transforms amazingly and performs well. I didn't even recognize her as the actress that played Vianne in Chocolat which I loved her in and Hana the nurse in The English Patient. In their dual over their passions of words and pictures, they end up challenging each other and their students and movie goers alike to appreciate and desire to create beauty using words and art. After watching Belle and a slew of other movies set around Victorian Era England, I noted that our conversational language has become so simple when there are so many beautiful words available to us. This movie echoes that sentiment. I expected Words and Pictures to be an overly artsy romantic love story but it was balanced. There are two things I didn't like about this movie. The first is that we aren't given the back story of the main characters. The characters even acknowledge they don't know a lot about each other but they are satisfied with it and I guess movie goers were supposed to be OK with it as well. The second is that besides reciting other people's words, Clive Owen's character doesn't say much of his own words that conveys his whole premise about words. I kept waiting for this great prose from him, but never got it. Overall the movie is entertaining and inspiring and I recommend you go see it.
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