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TIFF 2018 Review: “Non-Fiction” (2018) ★★★★


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Writing a novel is not that easy. There must be a source of inspiration to scoop from, to induce some fire, curiosity and even intrigue into it. But it is also a known fact that, in most cases, writers follow a certain event that occurred in their life or that of their family, neighbors or friends. And again, it’s all just fiction for mainstream readers, but for a very closed group of people, this may not be the case.

Olivier Assayas has once again teamed up with Juliette Binoche to deliver, probably, the most original French cinematic experience that will remind you of the Golden Era of French Cinema and Hollywood as well. It’s all build up around the dialogues, biting lines, books that we no longer read, online publishing that takes over the 21st century and what should be done to make readers get back to reading.

A Parisian publisher, Alain (Guillaume Canet), and his wife, Selena, who also happens to be a TV actress, are trying to get used to the digital world. As they try to understand how technology affects our daily lives or even the way we process information, Alain reads his long-time friend, Leonard’s (Vincent Macaigne) new manuscript but does not know how to tell him that he may not publish it after all. When Selena interferes, they both realize that there’s more to the book regarding what happened in Leonard’s life, and what has been presented as fiction may be true.

“Non-Fiction” is an outstanding comedy that does not aim to reach every single viewer. It’s too bright and wicked to handle. The concept it touches is what our society goes through, but the way Assayas handles it is pure masterclass. As for the performances, there has never been an issue when a film is lead by Juliette Binoche, but it is an Assayas show which makes his film more real than fiction because it touches upon life itself and nothing less.

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