A late career masterpiece that returned Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami to the world stage, Certified Copy is a shapeshifting film starring Juliette Binoche (who won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her role) and William Shimell (a British opera singer) as a very unique kind of couple. A writer (Shimell) is in Tuscany to promote his new book, and an unnamed woman (Binoche) is there with her son to have copies of the book signed. This doesn’t work as planned, and the two later meet up and begin a wide-ranging dialogue about life, art, marriage, parenthood, truth, lies, and facsimile. As the nature of their relationship oscillates between clear and unclear, Kiarostami prods us to engage with notions of cinematic truth and the ways in which we represent ourselves in differing contexts.
A mysterious, paradoxical, and deeply ambitious film, which is also something of a lovely manifesto—a tribute to the freedoms that Kiarostami considers essential yet also a warning to those who might consider political and social freedom to be a self-fulfilling and self-sufficient liberation. — Richard Brody, The New Yorker