The 2010 romantic drama “Certified Copy” from IFC Films was written and directed by Abbas Kiarostami. Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell, Jean-Claude Carrière, Agathe Natanson, Gianna Giachetti, Adrian Moore, Angelo Barbagallo, Andrea Laurenzi and Filippo Trojano.
Elle (Juliette Binoche) is a curious art gallery owner who lives with her son in Tuscany region of Italy. She attends a reading of a new book entitled “Copia Conforma” (Italian for “Certified Copy”) by a British author named James Miller (William Shimell) which raises the question of whether a reproduction of something is as good as the original.
After the lecture when Elle and Miller talk, she offers to give him a driving tour to a nearby village so they can have lunch and continue their discussion. As she makes arrangements for her son, he teases her saying that she has already fallen in love with Miller.
As they drive through the Tuscan country side, Miller continues explaining the premise of the book and talks about his quest for the meaning of things. Elle finds his observations both interesting and amusing, Miller is pleased but a bit perplexed by the chemistry between them.
As they reach the village their discussions become more personally revealing and the atmosphere of the town, where many couples travel to be married, seems to spark memories for both of them, although they do not discuss what they are feeling. Elle takes Miller to see an 18th-century forgery of a Roman painting, one so good it is sometimes called the “Original Copy” and the questions about reality deepen.
As the day turns to late afternoon and evening, it’s clear that Miller and Elle are attracted to each other, and just as in real life become a a bit irritated with each other as well. When they decide to have something to eat Miller steps away to make a phone call and the café owner assumes that Elle and Miller are married. Instead of correcting the impression, she plays along saying that they have been married for 15 years. When Miller returns she tells him about the incident, he seems intrigued and joins in the game. Although she finds herself enjoying the game she wonders where it will lead as their conversations about life, relationships, love and reality become more intense and thought-provoking. Their tour of the Tuscan country side takes them into new territory of the heart as they continue as if they really have been together for 15 years.