Olivier Assayas' "Non-Fiction" is an Amiably Intellectual Exercise on Social Media [TIFF Review]



Leave it to the French to philosophize about Twitter and E-books. That's exactly what Olivier Assayas' "Non-Fiction" dares to do and, for the most part, this small little trifle of a film actually works. Coming off his brilliant "Personal Shopper," Assayas decides to make a more relaxing film this time around. This intermingling of relationships and friendships, set in the publishing world, is just an excuse for Assayas to update Rohmer for the 21st century, but in a minor key.

Alain (Guillaume Canet) is a successful book publisher, who is cheating on his wife Serena (Juliette Binoche), A TV actress who is having an affair with one of his long-time authors (Vincent Macaigne), whose wife is the assistant to an up and coming environmental politician. Got that? The juggling of storylines is handled with care by Assayas who has his characters not only dealing with their own issues but trying to adapt their work life to the digital and social media age. It's as simple as that.

The film is very french, with each character suspecting the other of infidelity but continuing on, like only the francophones would, as if not bothered by the cheating. It's a slight film that becomes exceedingly more involving as it goes along thanks to Assayas' intricate eye for character and detail. It might be a minor work but it's no less Assayas-esque for that matter. [B-]