Cinebanter

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Friday, May 16, 2014

SIFF Sighting: WORDS AND PICTURES (Romance; USA)

Jack (Clive Owen) is a film cliché. He's an angry English teacher with a drinking problem and a troubled relationship with his son.

Dina (Juliette Binoche) is an artistic spitfire on a mission to ignite her students since her physical limitations prevent her from being what she used to be.

One would assume they're destined to be together, and one would probably be right.

The thing that saves this formulaic story from being too sugar-sweet predictable is the incredible appeal of the two lead actors. Owen, despite the drunkenness, has never been more charming (though I missed his British accent); Binoche is both delicate and demonic in equal measure. You simply can't help but root for them.

As a writer (and full disclosure: former English major), I appreciated the defense of words; as a sucker for teacher heroes, I relished in the inspirational classroom energy.

Go see this one to enjoy it and find forgiveness in your heart for its faults.

WORDS AND PICTURES will screen at the 40th Seattle International Film Festival on May 17. For tickets, go here.

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