From the Chicago Reader (October 12, 2017). In the forthcoming Criterion Blu-Ray of this film, coming out in about three weeks, it’s refreshing to hear in Claire Denis’ and Juliette Binoche’s interviews about the film that they also consider it a sort of comedy. — J.R.
Let the Sunshine In (a stupid and misleading translation of the French title, Un beau soleil intérieur)
Loosely inspired by Roland Barthes’ nonfiction book A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments – which dives into the absurd language of solitude and mythology that lovers and would-be lovers recite to themselves and others — this rapturous and faintly comic concerto for Juliette Binoche may well be the most pleasurable and original film Claire Denis has made since Beau Travail (1999). Binoche plays a divorced painter whom Denis pairs sexually, amorously, and/or tentatively with a succession of men played by everyone from Xavier Beauvois to Alex Descas to Gerard Depardieu. The filmmaker’s skill in framing her protagonist’s various trysts, moods, and dialogues, sometimes even setting them to music, is matchless. Novelist Christine Angot collaborated with Denis on the script. –- Jonathan Rosenbaum