Who You Think I Am (2 stars)

Who You Think I Am

Ridiculous, sub-Hitchcockian French drama starring Juliette Binoche

Safy Nebbou's Who You Think I Am is the kind of florid potboiler that is hard to take seriously. Juliette Binoche is a characteristically luminous presence at the centre of all the nonsense, but even she struggles to lend conviction to a character who seems more like a caricature of what we have come to expect and admire in Binoche.

Her literature professor Claire is fiftyish and fraught with anxiety about growing older. Divorced in favour of a much younger woman, she considers herself the victim of a society in which older women become invisible. The fact that she looks like Binoche and is having hot sex against plate glass windows with thirtysomething stud Ludo (Guillaume Gouix) tends to undermine her case.

Humiliated and abandoned, she takes her revenge by creating a fake social media profile for young fashion industry intern 'Clara'. This is only possible once she has Googled what this newfangled thing called Instagram might be. Soon she is stalking Ludo's roommate Alex (a sweet, sympathetic François Civil). Flirty texts lead to heavy breathing phone calls. How far is she willing to let this go? Why is Alex so smitten by the elusive Clara?

We learn a good deal of these events through Claire's sessions with psychoanalyst Dr Bormans, played by Nicole Garcia. The tennis match-style confrontations between the two women are the highlight of the film, and Garcia brings a welcome astringency and scepticism to her character. That, in turn, encourages the suspicion that Claire is not an entirely reliable narrator.

There are elements in Who You Think I Am that might have attracted Hitchcock. The desires and longings of older women are rich source material. Unfortunately, the increasingly convoluted and silly plotting undermines any chance of an entertaining film, let alone one with anything meaningful to say.

Available to watch on Curzon Home Cinema from Fri 10 Apr.

Who You Think I Am

  • 2 stars
  • 2019
  • France / Belgium
  • 1h 41min
  • Directed by: Safy Nebbou
  • Cast: Juliette Binoche, Nicole Garcia, François Civil

A 50-year-old divorcee turns catfish in this mystery drama.