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SPECIFICATIONS
  • 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
  • French DTS-HD 5.1 Surround
  • English subtitles
  • 1 Disc
FEATURES
  • The rarely seen 1977 Kiarostami film The Report, which deals with similar themes
  • New interview with director Abbas Kiarostami
  • Let's See "Copia conforme," an Italian documentary on the making of Certified Copy, featuring interviews with Kiarostami and actors Juliette Binoche and William Shimell
  • Trailer

Certified Copy

Blu-ray
Reviewed by: Chris Galloway

Directed By: Abbas Kiarostami
Starring: Juliette Binoche, William Shimell
2010 | 106 Minutes | Licensor: Sundance Selects

Release Information
Blu-ray | MSRP: $39.95 | Series: The Criterion Collection | Edition: #612
RLJ Entertainment

Release Date: May 22, 2012
Review Date: May 20, 2012

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SYNOPSIS

The great Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami travels to Tuscany for a luminous and provocative romance in which nothing is as it appears. What seems at first to be a straightforward tale of two people-played by Oscar-winning actress Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell-getting to know each other over the course of an afternoon gradually reveals itself as something richer, stranger, and trickier: a mind-bending reflection on authenticity, in art as well as in relationships. Both cerebrally and emotionally engaging, Certified Copy (Copie conforme) reminds us that love itself is an enigma.

Forum members rate this film 8.3/10

 

Discuss the film and Blu-ray here   


PICTURE

Abbas Kirarostamiís Certified Copy is presented on Blu-ray by Criterion in its original aspect ratio of 1.85:1 on this dual-layer disc in a 1080p/24hz high-definition transfer.

Certified Copy was shot using the RED digital camera and though it obviously downscaled from 4k to fit Blu-rayís resolution, the film has been pretty much transferred as-is with some colour adjustments, approved by the director, according to the notes. Unsurprisingly it looks spectacular. Details are rich and clear, everything clearly defined, including finer details in the backgrounds and the brick work of many of the buildings that appear. Colours are vibrant and lively, even the dull colours managing to pop. Blacks look solid and deep, and flesh tones look natural.

Since the film was shot on digital and never touched film before being transferred to this disc there are absolutely no blemishes. I also didnít notice any digital artifacts of any sort, the image clean as can be. In all itís very striking.

10/10

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AUDIO

Criterion delivers a subtle but very striking DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround track for the film. The film is not showy in any shape or form and itís basically two people talking over the course of an outing so one wouldnít expect anything that would take advantage of oneís sound system. But thereís actually a lot of activity going on even if you may not notice. The dialogue of the two leads, which is always clear and articulate, moves freely between all of the speakers as appropriate. But we manage to pick up the sounds of birds, the bustle in the streets, and the bells of a churchóamong other thingsóall of which fill out the environment nicely. Itís all so subtle yet so rich and manages to help in pulling the viewer more into the film.

9/10

SUPPLEMENTS

Criterion includes only a small number of features, but they managed to pull a real coup with the inclusion of Kiarostamiís second feature The Report. The 109-minute film has been included because it shares a lot in common with Certified Copy if only in themes and possibly scenes (itís missing the playful midway twist that occurs halfway through the latter film.) The film is incredibly rare and unfortunately only exists on video, which the presentation here has been sourced from, after the film was destroyed during the Iranian revolution. I canít say itís a great film, possibly a little too melodramatic and at times not all that subtle, as it follows a government employee (played by Kurosh Afsharpanah, a newcomer at the time as I understand it) fighting off accusations of bribery while also dealing with at-home issues surrounding his wife (played by the always lovely Shohreh Aghdashloo.) Thereís some great scenes and despite my obvious reservations itís certainly not a bad film, but I never found it truly involving and almost fairly routine. Whatís interesting about it is how much it really has in common with Certified Copy, and since Kiarostami mentions it in the supplements also found on this disc, he obviously knew it. Some of the conversations sound the same, especially the wifeís disdain about the fact her husband is never around, always working, and thereís a similar dinner scene to what we get in Certified Copy.

The presentation is very rough, aggravating even (and itís possible that this played into my ho-hum reaction to it) because of the video source. It basically looks like a VHS presentation, or BETA at least, and the video itself was sourced from a very rough film print. The subtitles are unfortunately burned in and laced with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. They also go by way too fast at times: you have cases where you get two sentences that are flashed for a second, making it near impossible to catch everything. It gets old very quickly to say the least. But despite any problems Iím glad we get it here; the film has been impossible to find otherwise and being able to finally easily get it will be a treat to many.

Following this is a quick 16-minute interview with director Abbas Kiarostami who spends the time talking about the origins of the story and the themes covered within it. He talks about Binoche and even brings up The Report and the similarities. He also talks about the two halves of the film but doesnít offer any definitive opinion on what the splits mean (apologies for the vagueness but Iím just trying not to give anything away.) Itís a fine interview but at the same time itís nothing truly revealing.

Criterion then next includes the 57-minute making-of documentary Letís See ďCopia conformeĒ, which I believe was made for the European home video releases. Mixed with plenty of behind-the-scenes footage the making-of gathers together interviews with the director, its two stars, and various members of the cast and crew. Again we hear about the source of the story, how it was originally told to Binoche by Kiarostami with the actress suggesting he turn it into a movie. Thereís discussion about the shooting of particular sequences and a little bit of talk about the RED camera, but disappointingly not a lot. Overall it has its charms and some decent insights but it never rises above your standard making-of and feels a little on the long side.

Concluding the disc supplements is a horrendously bad theatrical trailer that makes it look like a conventional romantic drama. Really, itís probably one of the worst trailers Iíve ever seen for any film.

The booklet then includes a strong essay by critic and filmmaker Godfrey Cheshire who goes over the themes, the fairly complicated structure, and then how it, Kiarostamiís first film made outside of Iran, compares with his other work, most notably The Report. Itís a solid read offering a much needed analytical slant to the supplements.

Itís a fairly slim release, but Criterion manages to deliver a great surprise with the inclusion of The Report, which in and of itself adds spectacular value to this release.

7/10

CLOSING

It feels slim in supplements but the addition of the feature film The Report adds incredible value to this release. The disc also delivers a sharp, absolutely stunning video and audio presentation for Certified Copy, which alone makes this disc a must for those looking to pick up the film.


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