Let the Sunshine In (2017) Poster

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Seems to have a built-in mechanism for self destruction
howard.schumann22 July 2018
"You don't have to go looking for love when it's where you come from" - Werner Erhard

Isabelle (Juliet Binoche, "Ghost in the Shell"), a divorced fiftyish artist, is attractive, urbane, and highly intelligent but her relationships seem to have a built-in mechanism for self destruction. The men in Isabelle's life offer her little except temporary physical pleasure and are pretty much ciphers (and not very nice ones at that). Loosely based on Roland Barthes' book "A Lover's Discourse: Fragments" with a screenplay by Christine Angot, Claire Denis' sophisticated comedy/drama Let the Sunshine In (Un beau soleil intérieur) is lighter fare than normal for Denis, but it has its probing, self-reflective moments and Juliet Binoche, as usual, is an appealing screen presence.

Like many of us, Isabelle wants to find someone who fits her pictures but, as most of us discover sooner or later, life often does not fit our pictures. All of Isabelle's relationships start out to be very promising but eventually the decisions she makes about her partners seem to get in the way of her satisfaction. Whatever she thinks that she is looking for, she does not find it with either banker Vincent (Xavier Beauvois, "Django"), actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle, "Wedding Unplanned"), ex-husband Francois (Laurent Gréville, "A Perfect Man"), or any other potential beau for that matter. The film begins with Isabelle in bed with the married, pretentious Vincent. Things are looking a-ok until she decides that he is taking too long to climax, a fact she decides reflects badly on her.

Vincent asks her whether she has had more success with other lovers, but her response is a convincing slap in the face. She is with him when he bullies a bartender but she does not react. The next time he visits her in her apartment, however, she calls him an unrepeatable name, then tells him to leave and not come back. Instead, she hooks up with a young actor (Duvauchelle), also married, though with a better disposition. When she invites him in for a drink, they play endless games about whether he should stay or leave. When he decides to stay, they go through the motions together but by the next morning he concludes that things were better before they had sex and wishes that it had not happened.

The next one up is François (Gréville), Isabelle's ex-husband, who is concerned about their ten-year-old daughter after she tells him that her mother cries every night. This is not good news for her to hear and she uses it as a reason to end any chance for reconciliation. There are several more suitors that follow but Isabelle always finds something about them that she dislikes. She meets Sylvain (Paul Blain, "All is Forgiven") at a club who literally carries her away with pleasure as they dance to Etta James' beautiful "At Last." Unfortunately, Fabrice (Bruno Podalydès, "Chocolat"), an art gallery owner, convinces her that Sylvain is wrong for her because he is not a good fit for her circle. This provides cover for her to end yet another relationship, one that had barely even begun. There is not much left for her of course but to go to a clairvoyant (Gerard Depardieu, "You Only Live Once"), but his banter provides little certainty that she will find "the one." There are times in Let the Sunshine In when Isabelle has moments of happiness and optimism, but she can also come across as needy and, at times, almost desperate. Through the magic of Binoche's performance, Isabelle is a sympathetic figure and one that we root for. Her quest, however, has a touch of game playing to it and it seems that, for Isabelle, it may not be whether you win or lose but how you play the game.
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Not for everyone, as you can tell from the other reviews here
LWong199920 February 2018
Claire Denis' "Let the Sun Shine In" is an exhausting and overwhelming experience, as is the choreography of romance and life it is set in. In the world of tinder, it's all 1s and 0s, but real life these days is much less binary and less immediately satisfying. You won't find that kind of easy romcom satisfaction in Denis' film. One is buffeted by indecision, imprecision, and inaction while swimming in self doubt and self loathing. Isabelle, our stand-in for the duration, is emotionally exhausting. She asks a lot of her lovers and of the audience. She says "stay with me, stay," and Denis uses Juliette Binoche to maximum seductive affect but it's not an easy journey. Isabelle is, by turns, a strong woman with a lot to offer and who knows what she wants, but also a weak human being filled with doubt. She's a paradox and a contradiction, but she also understands without acknowledging that she will always have opportunities...another opportunity. She is someone who is exploring the boundaries of her self. It's perplexing territory to the men she meets but also to herself. Denis shows us as many facets of Isabelle as we are willing to see, that we can see. I think there's a lot more there than I could see at one sitting. A unique portrait. Her best film since "White Material." I'd love to talk to her about it!
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Meh I found it very underwhelming for the most part
Horst_In_Translation23 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
"Un beau soleil intérieur" or "Let the Sun Shine In" or "Bright Sunshine In" or "Dark Glasses" is a French/Belgian co-production in the French language released this year in 2017 and it is the newest work by experienced writer and director Claire Denis. The film runs for slightly over 90 minutes and this also includes closing credits as they interestingly enough were displayed already during the final scene. But we will get to that later. The heart and soul of the film is French Oscar-winning actress Jukliette Binoche, in her 50s now already, but still pretty stunning. The entire film is basically about encounters she has with men, most of them sexual, except the one guy talking to her at the fish shop, the needy one. But everybody else she somehow ends up in bed with while according to the movie she is looking for real true love. But she is definitely also a bit on the promiscuous side and the ways in which we see how desperate she really is are perhaps not enough to hide that, like the crying scenes or the way in which she talks to the Black fella near the end. But maybe my problem with this movie is also how very unlikable all the protagonists are really. Maybe they are just flawed like everybody else, but is that really justification enough? The one hitting rock-bottom is definitely the married guy we see during this long bar scene, perhaps the least likable film character from 2017. We also see him in the very first scene of the film, a sex scene with Binoche's breasts visible and you could think that she lays her innermost out there and it could have been a good start for a great movie. Too bad it is never a great film. Binoche still looks really good for her age and this may be the only amazing component.

Now I want to say a couple words in detail about the final scene. First of all, the credits did not really take anything away from it for me. The only result is that you obviously won't check for the names, but then again you don't otherwise either do you? Finally having Depardieu and Binoche hand it to each other eventually could have been one of the finest film scenes of the year, but it really is no such thing. It is all about Depardieu here, never about Binoche as she is basically just listening. As we don't see Depardieu before except in this very short random car scene, I was quite surprised about his inclusion. It felt very random and the scene is really all about the actor, never about the characters. Such a shame as I like Depardieu and Binoche really a lot and I so so wanted this to be better. Back to the entire film, there were some audience members who laughed a great deal from start to finish in my viewing, but I personally must say the comedy component here was minimal to me. It felt way more about the relationship drama and the protagonists longing for and lack of romantic happiness in her life. Still quotes and reactions felt extremely unauthentic on many occasions, which is why I must say that the characters' actions and reactions made no sense on more than just a few occasions. And this is a negative deal breaker in my opinion. I would not say that the performers were bad or anything, actually they elevated the material at times even, but they can only be as good as the script they are given. And what they were given here was most of the time the opposite of quietly captivating, namely over-the-top and unrealistic. I quite like Binoche (and Depardieu), but this was a really big downer as a whole. Pretty disappointed here and being one myself I cannot even recommend it to Binoche's fans as they will maybe dislike it as much as I did. It is nowhere near real failure territory, but it's also nowhere near being among the better or even best French films from 2017. A country I love in terms of filmmaking. But this one here is the negative example potentially confirming the rule. Go check it out.
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Little suspense or character development in tale of lovesick painter thwarted by coterie of commitment-phobe males
Turfseer15 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Despite the overwhelming positive critical response, there were a few critics who took French director Claire Denis to task for Let the Sunshine In, in French "Un beau soleil interior," best translated into English as "a beautiful sun inside." Written with co-writer Christine Angot, "Sunshine" stars the iconic Juliette Binoche as Isabelle, a divorced abstract painter who can best be described as "love-starved."

A few female critics were angry that Denis depicts Isabelle as a woman who defines herself solely through her relationships with men. That wouldn't be so bad if the men depicted were an interesting lot-unfortunately they are not. What's more, Isabelle's back story is gravely lacking-we find out little about her professional life as a painter as well as the nature of her relationship with a 10 year old daughter (whom we meet only very briefly mid-narrative).

Perhaps the most worthless review of Let the Sunshine In is the highest rated on Metacritic (a 100)-by Justin Chang writing in the LA Times who terms "Let the Sunshine In" a "sublime comedy of sexual indecision." He's right about Isabelle's sexual indecisiveness-but where is the comedy?

Clearly Denis treats her beleaguered protagonist with kid gloves-she's really the woman with the "beautiful sun inside." She might be a "glutton for punishment," but in the end it's really the men who are at fault here (and a sad bunch they are indeed!).

Perhaps potentially the most interesting man that Isabelle tries to hook up with is an oily banker whom we meet first (in the opening scene they're having a rather unsatisfactory sexual encounter). The banker's crime is that he wants an intimate relationship but will not give up his relationship with a wife to whom he's been married for many years.

Denis unfortunately is loathe to build any suspense in her inert plot, so our frustrated banker makes a lame attempt at the art of stalking by plying Isabelle with a bouquet of flowers. He's unceremoniously given the boot by our lovesick protagonist and that's the last we hear of him.

The rest of the Isabelle's potential suitors need little more description. They include an actor, Isabelle's ex-husband, a working class schlub and an art curator. Unlike the arrogant banker, their shortcomings amount to a coterie of dating misdemeanors: they're basically all a bland bunch and simply unable to commit.

Finally Isabelle decides to go to a "professional" for advice after so many failed attempts at love. He turns out to be as bad as Isabelle's aforementioned love objects. It's Gerard Depardieu as a "medium," whose generalized "psychic" predictions prove as lame as their source-another abject mediocrity who believes in his own BS.

Like the entire prior narrative, the medium goes on and on as the credits roll. Is Claire also mocking Isabelle for her gullibility? If she is, it's gentle mockery as it's already been established that the men here are the "butt" of the over-extended joke.

Perhaps Denis can be forgiven for her feminist bias and her gentle ribbing of the male sex-but her main shortcoming here is an aesthetic one. Despite a good deal of smart, sophisticated dialogue and Juliette Binoche's performance (infused with verisimilitude), it's Denis' inability to build suspense and present a protagonist with an internal arc that displays a modicum of change.
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A jaded but mostly visceral musing on romantic realities
mtrusk16 May 2018
I don't think the people giving this a 1/10 went into this with realistic expectations. This is French cinema, it's going to be sad and harsh and difficult and the character likely won't come to a concrete and obvious realization leading to her happiness. This movie does not hold your hand, but it is well worth it for those willing to look deeper into their emotional history to see what it is reaching for. There are some conversations that don't land but a lot do because Juliette Binoche gives a stellar performance. This is the type of character study that most actresses wait their whole life to do, she's a volcano of emotions bubbling under the surface for the whole runtime. Her character is probably a "bad person". She dates several married men, but that does not invalidate her problems. This movie is about the idea that chasing perfection can often lead you down the wrong path in your relationships and lead to a fear of commitment. For anyone who finds it difficult to be swept off your feet and easily believe in the rest of your life with someone, this is the movie for you. If you think the title of the film is a task that is easy to achieve, maybe it isn't.
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I rarely review movies I didn't like, but ...
knox-131-91617722 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I found myself thinking the whole time "Well, just goes to show women always go for the assholes." She's a successful artist, beautiful and smart, and goes for married men and jerks every single time. There's one guy who is single and clearly adores her, but she blows him off every time they bump into each other. I can't even remember how the movie ends. I hated most of her boyfriends. An ex-husband shows up at some point and there is an argument. All in all, nothing really happens, nothing is resolved. At least that i can remember, anyway. I probably just sat through whole movie because I love looking at Juliette Binoche. An utterly forgettable movie.
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Have insomnia?
muskox-8984917 June 2018
2 out of 3 of us fell asleep. The best things aout the movie: Binoche is lovely and Depardieu's nose is fascinating.
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Incoherent, meaningless and boring.
mariaeleni_pntz10 February 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I must confess I didn't make it through the movie and this is something that rarely happens to me. It was so meaningless and boring that I felt like it was kicking the will to live out of me. The main character completely lacks a sense of self respect. I wondered why the movie is promoted as a woman's search for love when all she's doing (at least during the first half of the movie) is having sex with married men, some of whom she doesn't even like. She doesn't really communicate with anyone and there is no real exchange with any of the people in her life. The characters talk but they really say nothing to each other, they just think incoherent thoughts out loud. I felt so drained I just had to stop watching, I wasn't even curious to see what happens in the end.
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Torture in French
inescroft-020512 January 2018
I was so bored... the dialogues are boring, long and absolutely unnecessary. The hole movie is a series of uninteresting episodes of human life: driving cars slowly around Paris, start a painting, drinking a beer, sit on a sofa...all unedited and in real time. and then add the most boring dialogues to it. 'i like you' 'i like you too', 'but we can't' 'why can't we' 'oh, we can't' - kill me already The main character is a depressed middle age woman that will sleep with every man that spends 3 or 4 minutes with her.
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Realistic Depiction of exhaustive search of true intimacy
purseofglitters17 November 2018
I don't recall any other time when I related with a protagonist in a film this much. Every aspect of the lead character, Isabelle was portraying me ...some much so that I felt 'naked' emotionally. Claire Denis is a living legend. Juliette Binoche is an amazing actress...definitely a performance worthy of an Oscar
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Wanting is Not Enough
mackjay223 January 2019
The tension between wanting something from someone and the fact that it must be given freely and not asked for is at the heart of this film with its typically brilliant performance from Juliette Binoche. Does Isabelle (Binoche) really know what she wants? It seems to be long-lasting romantic love. She hasn't had a lot of luck in that area, despite being beautiful, charming and successful in her career as an artist. We first see her with an unappealing married man. After a lengthy discussion with him, she seems to give up and moves on to a handsome, much younger actor (Nicolas Duvauchelle). He's also married and undecided about divorcing his wife. A typical dilemma, but for Isabelle it seems to be a pattern. These men are simply not available. Later, at a dance club, Isabelle meets someone who seems quite interested, even if he looks like an aging rock star (the kind who didn't get fat). We soon see the same conflict develop: Isabelle wants something the man cannot give, or not right away anyway. There follows a very brief flirtation with a friend of a friend and Isabelle ends up meeting with a counselor of some kind (Gérard Depardieu) who seems to tell her that her life has simply gone as it should...most enigmatically, that she will meet a man who understands and connects with her, but he too will not be "the one". The counselor says that Isabelle must become aware of her "beautiful inner sun" and be content with herself as she is.

In some ways this recent work of Claire Denis can remind a viewer of a film of Eric Rohmer, LE BEAU MARIAGE in particular. Endless discussion about what the protagonist wants. Simply wanting something from someone is not enough to make it happen. But the cinematic style of Claire Denis is miles away from Rohmer's. The editing alone puts UN BEAU SOLEIL INTÉRIEUR firmly in the art film category. Editing and narrative technique, mainly carried out through one-on-one conversation are sometimes elliptical and leave a viewer to decide what has happened. There is also an odd 'nature walk' with strangers who have a lot to say about seemingly nothing, causing Isabelle to go mad for a moment. Perhaps this is to show the extent of her frustration with life and with people in general. Denis chooses to end the film with the counselor scene: a long sequence composed mainly of close-ups of Depardieur while the final credits run, superimposed over the actors' faces.

An often funny film, very compelling thanks to Binoche's exasperating yet amiable characterization.
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Intensive, yet easy going!
Lalpera30 July 2017
Warning: Spoilers
A good French romantic comedy with an easy go. It is a story of a middle aged woman Isabelle, a divorcée who seeks a meaningful love with a spicy intimate relationship. She meets and have short relationships with couple of men but ended up only with illusion. Isabelle is just a woman like any other, who needs love care and sex in a normal manner. But the men she meets with quite different personas are huge mismatches to her love expectations and desires. Juliette Binoche is the centerfold of this movie, taking command of her character Isabelle rendering great stamina to the character. There is no doubt about Binoche's awesome acting talents and beauty and she keeps her legend in the movie by giving a very vibrant intensity to Isabelle's character. She laughs, she cries, she suffers, she daydreams, she's angry, she fights - all these moments are exceptionally portrayed by Binoche like a fish swimming in the water. All men portrayed are skilled actors and have done justice to their characters.

Director Claire Denis does a great job. She coordinates a great screenplay with great acting and editing. She manages the opening sex scene very well in which high intimacy running wild between the couple but something is seriously missing kind of idea successfully transmitted to the audience. Denis uses close up techniques quite successfully, particularly of Isabelle's facial reflections, to display the complexity of her character. Music is appropriate and suits most of the scenes. The balance between the close-up shots with wide angles speaks a lot about a good cinematographer.

My only complaint is about the end scene where Isabelle meets the fortune teller and when he starts a pretty boring 10-15 minutes 'analysis' about her love life and the men she have had affairs with. Total waste of time and his monotonous boring voice kills half of the good mood you acquired since the beginning of the movie. Denis should have left that analysis be done by the audience, on their own way rather than narrated through a dull character.

A good one, as often as we get from the French side of the world.
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The worst film I have seen in the last 15 years.
dcml-936853 March 2018
Juliette Binoche is mesmerising to look at, but that is the only redeeming feature of one of the most boring and inane movies ever made. The only reason I stayed until almost the end was that my partner had fallen asleep early in the movie and I didn't want to wake her up. Gérard Depardieu droning on at the end was the final straw and fortunately my partner woke up watched him for 2 minutes and said "let's leave". In conclusion, that was 1.5 hours of my life that I will never get back.
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Romatic painter/woman seeks elusive love
maurice_yacowar19 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
By now we expect a Clare Dennis movie to be a stylish, incisive anatomy of French cultural or political traditions (aka cliches). Here she deploys romance queen Juliette Binoche as a passionate beauty moving relentlessly through a series of unfulfilling affairs. Isabelle is a successful painter, specifically an abstract expressionist. In the one work we see she splashes broad black strokes across a floored white canvas, hoping her sweeping slashes will discover and express a passion she has nowhere - or no-one - else for it to go. She seeks in that formless chaos a meaning and beauty in revolt against traditional orderliness. But we see her painting only once. So she seems to be playing at the role of the romantic artist - and in an obsolete genre at that. That's in love as in her art. In her search for someone in whom to invest her ardor she chooses poorly - the selfish, insulting married banker, the equally shallow married actor, the comically silent and vulpine labourer she meets in a dance. Her conversations are a cover under which she hides, hoping to pounce on the one physical connection that will sustain and absolve her. At first Isabelle easily commands our sympathy, our identification. But the sequence of her brittle affairs steadily shifts her from model to warning. As she moves through the variously unappealing men, as we watch her emotional rollercoaster, we see her as a compulsive dependent, whose modern sexual freedom only restricts self-discovery or lasting satisfaction. She proves a selfish mother, a difficult ex-wife, and variously unsupportive or unfaithful to her lovers, all under the cover of her own needs and special sensitivity. As her every sexual conquest only deepens her isolation, Isabelle's whole society is a satire of modern French culture. The genial but foppish neighborhood suitor who invites her to the country only provokes her explosion at bourgeois complacency, especially as it romanticizes their Nature. But from her attack on that cliche she only moves on to act one out herself-picking up the labourer at the bar. Isabelle's romances here form a critique of French romantic indulgence, especially in its cinema, which has long cornered the world market on free love. Hence the climactic appearance of French icon Gerard Depardieu at the end. In his first scene he appears - at first unidentifiable - with an unfamiliar woman on a date. He dismisses her. That is, he replays Isabelle's hunger for a romantic connection, futilely searching for completion in yet another stranger. In the next scene he's revealed as Isabelle's ostensible therapist - but he's a psychic! As he spews his intuitions about her various men she brightens in hope. But he's only picking up on her responses to deliver what she wants to hear. Long the bad boy of French romantic cinema, here the bloated charlatan spews pop psych cliches that only re-enforce her deluded quest for romantic perfection. Hence his urge that she be - not "ouverte" but the American pop - "open" to whatever temptation arises. That's not admitting the sunshine she craves, but reinforcing her darkness. While the credits scroll down the left side of the screen, Depardieu continues the shallow "insight" she needs to continue her pathetic delusions. His running on and on confirms the satiric function of his presence. Denis provides a rather negative range of characters here. Two men stand apart, the gallery colleague and friend who patiently waits her to return his love and the black man wise enough to insist on taking time to see whether a relationship will naturally develop between them. For a full, healthy relationship we only have Isabelle's friend's report that she and her Jacques are taking the time and trouble to work patiently on a demanding and therefore rewarding connection over time. Without the artist's license, they've moved from nomad to gardener.
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elizabethross-7429713 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. The trailer makes it look like a comedy. It is not. The credits run over the last weak scene so it becomes unintelligible, maybe in an attempt to obscure the fact that the film has ended without resolution. People in the theater walked out and I wish I had too.
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Talk to Me, PLEASE, Mr. Sun
writers_reign1 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
If you remember the recording by Jonny Ray, from the fifties and cited above, I need say no more but chances are you won't so I will. Off the top of my head I can think of only one reasonably entertaining movie by Clare Denis and that was Vendredi Soir (Friday Night) in which, during a transport strike, motorists are urged via radio to offer lifts to pedestrians; Valerie Lemercier accordingly picks up Vincent Lindon and the two complete strangers wind up in the sack. Sixteen years Denis is at it again albeit Juliette Binoche doesn't stop with one man but is on a mission. Binoche was, of course, the selling point and she doesn't let us down, turning in a virtuoso performance. For reasons best known to Ms. Denis, Gerard Depardieu, now resembling a small house, is wheeled out in the last frame contributing only ennui.One for the pseud set.
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Hard work
bendjefferies3 May 2018
I found this pretty interminable and ultimately inconsequential. Quite a self indulgent exercise.
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Not very successful
jvanderkay17 May 2018
I hadn't seen a preview or even read a precis before going, but I generally like French movies, so I went. I didn't know what to make of it -- at the beginning I thought it was a drama, but then the scenes got absurdly exaggerated, and I decided it must be a comedy that the language barrier kept me from finding funny. So I was surprised to learn from the reviews here that it was not a comedy! I still don't know what to make of it. So, my advice is, if you have to pay money to see this and you don't speak fluent French, don't bother (in my case, I have a theater membership that allows me pretty much unlimited movies, so I do tend to take chances).
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It went on and on without any connection of how one scene got to the next - the trailer is better than the movie
VintageSoul569 June 2018
I decided to take myself to two movies today that were female based. Since I'm a woman in my early sixties, I like what the 1940's called "women's pictures". This was the second movie that I went to see. Oh my gosh! What a BORE! I love Juliette Binoche, but this was not one of her best efforts. The way the trailer was edited, it looked better than it actually was. Ok, I'm gonna be a little snide here, BUT if I wanted to see something like this, all I would have needed to do was pick up the phone and call a girlfriend because I know more that one that has this same problem that Juliette's character in the movie had or if I really wanted to be depressed (which I do not) reexamine my own past with in similar situations. I could have saved $8. If you want to see a "woman's picture" that show woman as powerful, funny, intelligent, willing to takes risks, whatever comes, see either "Book Club" or "Ocean's 8". Both, in my opinion, are class acts. "Let the Sunshine In" is just another movie about a woman who continues to want to be a victim. Honey, we've all been there, including me, but there comes a time to cut bait and run and learn how not to be a victim any longer. And, that does not just include with men. It includes life.
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Such disappointment
pamma094 June 2018
I had not heard of this movie in the recent past - so since Juliette Benoche was the lead I was excited to see another of her films. I kept waiting for it to get better - actually I found it quite boring. She jumps between the men and there is really o meaningful conversations between them. The credits at the end were interestingly presented. The best thing I can say is that she is still so beautiful.
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Wherefore art thou Juliette?
nvblue16 June 2018
I love Juliette Binoche, so I took a chance on this movie. Hated it. The script seems like it was made up just before they started shooting. Nothing engaging about any of it. Juliette's talents are wasted. I finally left after about an hour into it and that was at least fifty minutes too late. The characters are poorly written and lack any appeal. The story is weak and mundane. Don't waste your time or money.
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Watch it for Juliette Binoche's towering performance
paul-allaer20 May 2018
"Let the Sunshine In" (2017 release from France; 94 min.; original title "Un beau soleil intérieur") brings the story of Isabelle. As the movie opens, we see Isabelle, naked, and making love to a guy we later learn is married (but not to Isabelle). Isabelle is enjoying a week of relative freedom as her 10 yr. old daughter is away at her dad's, Isabelle's former husband Francois. Soon we learn that Isabelle is deeply unhappy and restless about where she is in her life, and her love life in particular. At this point we're 10 min. into the movie but to tell you more of the plot would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this is the latest movie from French writer-director Claire Denis. Here she gets to work with one of France's treasures, actress Juliette Binoche. Binoche carries this movie on her shoulders from start to finish, and along the way exposes herself in ways I can't recall before. And it has to be said: Binoche is not in her mid-50s but she looks at least 10 years younger. The movie is what one could generalize as being a "typical French talkie", in which there is a lot, a LOT, of conversation and not much else. The director had the great sense of letting scenes play out, for minutes on, without interruption, as if we are simply a fly on the wall listening in on strangers talking. And yet, for all that closeness, I couldn't find myself all that emotionally invested in the movie or these characters. Yes, one feels that Binoche is delivering a towering performance but so what? Last but not least, Gerard Depardieu makes an appearance at the very end of the movie, as a fortune teller of some sort.

""Let the Sunshine In" premiered at last year's Cannes film festival, to positive acclaim (mostly for Juliette Binoche's performance). Almost exactly a year later, this movie finally showed up at my local art-house theater here in Cincinnati. The Saturday matinee performance where I saw this at was not attended well (4 people, including myself), I honestly can't see this playing in the theater very long. If you are interested in "French talkies" or a character study of a woman struggling with various relationships (think "An Unmarried Woman" or "Starting Over"), I'd suggest you check this out, be it in the theater, on VOD, or eventually on DVD/Blu-ray, and draw your own conclusion.
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One of my top five worst movies ever!
janushouse27 May 2018
This felt like torture. I will say that the acting was believable. But, I had not one moment of caring or compassion for any of the characters, Binoche included. I can't get these minutes of my life back, but I can save others the time wasted. What an incredibly irritating, vapid, meaningless film. I'm going to sleep it off and hope I feel better in the morning. Blech.
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Let The Sunshine In breathes in the light of a neurotic unconventional romantic drama.
TheMovieDiorama26 May 2019
Audiences went into this French drama as if they were partaking in a romcom buffet at their local boulangerie, but unsurprisingly came out disappointed when they weren't given the usual Katherine Heigl American trash that pollutes the genre. This is not a traditional romantic comedy. I repeat, not a traditional romcom. It is a drama about love, layering themes of romance and philosophies on life through an almost schizophrenic perspective. And with that, Denis has produced a wonderfully intimate portrayal of modern love through her ornate methods of artistic direction. A woman, struggling to find love, becomes involved with multiple men in an attempt to find stability and a relationship.

On the surface, this resembles a vapid pretentious outlook on the morality of men and emotional instability of women. However if you inspect Denis' contemporary storytelling techniques, it's actually a personable venture of self-discovery. A woman acquiring the fragility and tenderness that love shares with its victims, both a curse and a blessing. Coming to terms with how delicate a relationship can be, with a persistence on why certain aspects "should not be rushed".

The various men she encounters all treat her differently. A rich banker uses her to cheat on his wife, an actor regrets sleeping with her on the first meet and her ex-boyfriend/husband is unable to rekindle their flame. The only man who she believes treats her appropriately is seemingly the complete opposite to her personality, with her colleagues subconsciously planting doubt in her mind.

Denis consistently hones in on her neurotic behaviour which, whilst provides a very subtle amount of humour, allows her to experience the pain of love. It does inadvertently force her character to be disconnected with the audience, and on occasion results in her having a low morality compass. Yet fortunately the drama is shrouded in humanity. Everything felt natural. What helped elevate this was Denis' direction. A ludicrous amount of one take scenes allow us to become involved in their lives. The most notable of these being an eight minute unedited scene to which she talks to a banker at a bar. It also showcases Binoche's fantastic performance as she switches between emotions almost instantly. One second she is happily in love, the next filling her mind with doubt.

The scenes of sexual nature however felt rather excessive, particularly the introductory scene, that detracted from Denis' classy artistry. It may have highlighted the sleazy behaviour of these characters, but contrasts with the delicate portrayal of love. A nice touch that I found noteworthy was the concluding conversation with Depardieu. Midway through, the credits start rolling to emphasise the distractions that romances can cause, and it's these sort of contemporary details that enhance the film's interpretation.

Denis is certainly crafting films that aren't particularly accessible to the typical audience, but that does not result in her films being just exercises in vapidity. There's an intricate amount of humanity that brings life to this unconventional "romcom" that really should not be blocking that elusive sunshine.
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Maudlin and Histrionic, A Bit of Humor Would Have Helped
leftbanker-19 December 2018
Good actors with great casting, Paris as the backdrop, but the story is a complete dud. This was a total disaster as far as the writing, a failure both in the story as well as the insipid dialogue.

Being, more or less, in the age bracket of Benoche and her character, I find it a bit ridiculous that she stagnates in an adolescent passive-aggressive attitude with men. Say what you mean and mean what you say, someone once said. If you want someone, at this age you can't waste a lot of time being coy or clever.

Just what she saw in the banker is beyond my ability to read what women want. Physically unattractive, arrogant and abusive with the bartender, and dismissive of her feelings point to the fact that what? She's with him for his money?

I'm not saying that people my age can't find "true love" but I think we have to be rational adults while looking for it. The scene in the car and then in her apartment were both so incredibly awkward, worse than anything I suffered in my teens. Grow up! I hated both of those scenes. Thoroughly unromantic.

And then they manage to somehow shoe-horn in a dialogue with Gerard Depardieu?

I was forced to watch the film with inadequate English subtitles that didn't begin to translate the true sense of the French original dialogue, but my French isn't quite good enough to watch it without subtitles. I can never find French films with French subtitles which is the perfect combination for me. People learning English as a second language never have a problem finding English subtitles for English films and TV shows, so stop being so smug about the fact that you speak English.
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