Acting, AMC, foreign film, single parenting, wedding gowns for the woman over 40, women over 40 in film
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certified copy – a film for the woman over 40

One film, which has touched me in more ways than one this year, is the film Certified Copy. *Note: please stay on this page if you want to read the girly version and click here if you want to read my review about the filmmaking aspect of the movie.

Also, this special piece I wrote on this site, on  a Sunday no less, is also a reference point  for my fans, from the other blog, to use if they don’t mind me giving away the plot.  So here I go:

After seeing the film, Certified Copy, I walked out of the theatre feeling sad and depressed I just couldn’t believe the subject matter in the film and the impact it could have on most women across the globe, who want to see the film.

The story is  about a 40 something year old woman named Elle (Juliette Binoche), who from the looks of things was a single parent living in a small village near Tuscany, Italy.  A British writer, named James Miller (William Shimell) makes his way to the same village to promote his book about art and artifacts. Since Elle seems to be a fan of the writer,  she attends his book promo event to get his autograph on her copy of the book.

While at the event, her 15 year old bored son insists they leave because he was hungry. After a lengthy argument with her son, she leaves, but only after giving the promo coordinator a note to invite the writer over to her shop.

James  (the writer) accepts her invitation and with luggage in tow, comes to her shop the following morning for a brief visit, before catching a train out-of-town that same evening. (Are you following me so far?)  While she nervously suggests they have coffee in her studio or shop, he asks if they could go for a drive instead. Unphased by her struggle to get her coat, he takes his luggage outside and waits by the car.

The next twenty minutes or so, while driving on a windy road out of the village,  they  argue about his point of view in regards to art, people in general and his and her perception about life. As the story unfolds, the arguments become more intense between the two and although the director tries to show the validity of the topics they argued about, in my opinion the audience became more confused with their erratic discussions.

I turned towards my friends and asked, “What the hell is going on here?” probably a dozen times or so and they occasionally did the same to me. We just couldn’t understand why the two argued so intensely. I mean if they knew each other from before, it would make sense, but if they just met (or so we think) for the first time, why argue so passionately during a first encounter? In my opinion, she was turning the guy off (but the joke was on me).

I finally came to the conclusion that the two had known one another before, but I had no idea until the very end that they were a married couple, living separate lives. While she raises their son on her own, he gallivants the planet in search of art.

I was furious to say the least. My emotions ran rampant, I couldn’t believe that in this day and age, that any woman in her 40s would allow her life to be this way. I began thinking the director made all this up. I blamed him for his  lack of research and one-dimensional view on such matters. But then I put the blog entry in draft mode while I spoke to several other women over 40 and through discussion, I realized that this really does happen. That some couples opt to stay married even if they live separate lives!!! For the life of me, I couldn’t understand (I blamed the writer and filmmaker once again) and then it came to me over night.

What was I thinking, there are plenty of couples  (fishermen, soldiers, doctors, scientists, astronauts, journalists, actors, clergymen, archeologists and film makers) who live separate lives, away from one another for one reason or another, for weeks, months, years on end, even decades and then they get together here and there and consider themselves a couple. But in this film, the way the story was told, the couple should have separated a long time ago. His behavior and lack of concern expressed in the film is not worthy of any woman’s undying devotion. I wonder if that’s the case in all cases?

Now, I don’t know if I can handle discussing this further, because it breaks my heart, so I am going to stop right here unless anyone writes back. But,  although the movie, in my opinion lacked (believe it or not ) substance, I still recommend seeing it. Be prepared however, the film is in three languages and as a result, very difficult to follow.

Thanks for listening.


  1. I somehow missed this post! My husband and I live this lifestyle…he’s in Calgary, Alberta, Canada and I’m in Phoenix, Arizona (can you blame me?). We have been doing this for 5 years now, and it’s mainly because of our children–neither I or my husband were willing to give up a relationship with them. So for the time being we sacrifice our marriage relationship for the parenting relationship. (I have accepted coming second and my husband is still working on that one!) As you can imagine, it definitely has it’s challenges, but we feel that we are doing the right thing for them. This was not the plan at the beginning, believe me, I would not have gone into it knowing we would end up spending our lives apart. But, sometimes ya just do what you gotta do! I think I’ll skip seeing this movie even though I like Juliet Binoche, I need some “entertainment”, not more of the same…

    • Dear Margaret – what you wrote touched me in more ways than you can imagine. Although I live a similar life in a weird kind of way, I am always shocked when I see it on screen – which is a constant reminder of how awful our choices in life can be. Stay in touch

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