Bracingly Parisian and unrepentantly intellectual, Olivier Assayas' follow-up to Personal Shopper sees the French director turning a talky chamber drama centring on the crisis facing literary publishing into a twinkly sex-and-ideas comedy that channels the spirit of Eric Rohmer.
Non-Fiction brings us into the world of self-confident niche publisher Alain (Guillaume Canet), who is considering moving his small but influential literary imprint entirely to digital, abandoning the costly printed book in favour of e-books, audiobooks and writer's blogs. This is worrying news for determinedly analogue author Léonard (Vincent Macaigne), whose novels are basically lightly fictionalised accounts of his life and loves. Complicating matters, Alain's wife, successful television actress Selena (Juliette Binoche), seems to be siding with her secret lover Léonard, while Alain's judgement is clouded by a dalliance with Laure, the young 'technologist' (Christa Théret) hired to take his firm into this new digital world. While everyone debates the death of arts and culture around her, Léonard's no-nonsense partner Valerie (French comedienne Nora Hamzawi) looks on exasperated.
The ensemble cast are pitch perfect in this classic comedy that deftly blends cultural commentary, marital infidelity, and mid-life crisis into a smart French farce. After several very serious films in a row, it is a great pleasure to see Assayas shrewdly and wittily investigate what these new technological transitions have meant for our society, and our relationships with one another.
Information published by Leisure and Culture Dundee.
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