TIFF review: Non-Fiction (Doubles vies)

Juliette Binoche quietly steals all her scenes in Olivier Assayas's breezy social-commentary picture

NON-FICTION (Doubles vies) SPEC D: Olivier Assayas. France. 106 min. Sep 11, 4:30 pm, Elgin Sep 12, 9:30 am, TBLB 1. See listing. Rating: NNNN

After the metaphysical trappings of Clouds Of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper, Assayas shifts into dialogue-driven social commentary with this breezy study of two middle-aged friends: a publisher (Guillaume Canet) trying to steer his business through the digital revolution, and an author (Vincent Macaigne) who can only write about himself.

His characters’ shared belief in the printed word in the face of millennials convinced that e-books are the only way forward gives Assayas an excuse to craft plenty of philosophical arguments – and to complicate that clarity with trickier issues of personal morality and social responsibility.

Canet and Macaigne are eminently watchable, but Juliette Binoche quietly steals every scene as Canet’s wife, a TV star growing tired of the police procedural that’s made her a household name.

There’s also a great running gag about Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon. And really, that’s plenty.

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