Sunday, June 15, 2014
Stars: Clive Owen, Juliette Binoche, Amy Brenneman, Valerie Tian
Director: Fred Schepisi
Genre: Romantic Drama
Opposites attract. That's been the theme of many a romantic comedy since time immemorial. In Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) and Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche) we have two sharply delineated characters as different as words and pictures.
Marcus is a poet of some note who teaches at an elite New England prep school. He's passionate about trying to instill an appreciation for literature in his students, many of whom are only familiar with the printed word in the form of text messages (smart phones in a dumbed-down America).
Delsanto is the aloof art teacher who snubs Jack's playful advances at every turn, but she is just as passionate in the classroom about trying to light a fire under the butts of her students.
Will the passion that flames in their hearts for words and pictures eventually translate into the burning hots for each other? You wouldn't think so. Jack is a raging alcoholic. Plus he's clumsy when he's staggering around. Just when Delsanto is beginning to let her guard down, he crashes into her precious work-in-progress and ruins it. Talk about being on somebody's shit list! Even more annoying to a woman, I would think, is that the guy never takes his glasses off--even in bed!
Can such obstacles be overcome? Will Obama and Putin ever get chummy again? Getting there is half the fun. In Words And Pictures it's most of the fun, as their on-again off-again romance plays out against the backdrop of a spirited and often poignant competition between their students to prove which is more relevant--art or literature?
Grade: B +