In Non-Fiction, he generates plenty of atmosphere, but it’s suffocating. This would-be truth-telling movie lives up—or down—to his title: In scene after scene, it cultivates a realism that’s convincing without revealing very much at all.
As so often in Assayas’s work the kernel of authenticity that remains is the constancy of the passing of time, and the way we blindly yield to our private emotions even as they are fluid, malleable, transitory.
This is Assayas at his late-stage-Alain-Resnais-stage (which is not at all a compliment), making a lot of conversation, very little intrigue and absolutely no action. So what is left for us to feast on? Some delightful casting and a very interesting script.
I was more absorbed than I expected watching Assayas's playful arthouse offering. I doubt a more entertaining film can be made about e-publishing than this (i loved the literate script that is full of his usual preoccupations with technology, consumerism ect.) and appreciated how these issues commented on the casual infidelities which reflect our cinematic inheritance of the overly romantic French New Wave members.
Great cast with a decent script and good performances that attempts to mirror the struggle for an authorial voice with the need to feel relevant in a constantly changing world. It's by no means a new topic for the publishing world but thematically it can also be seen as an examination of traditional French lifestyle traits such as taking on a lover. 3.5 stars
Assayas is bourgeois (something one enters his films knowing) and I think while this film makes that more apparent than some of his other films, it is still a very strong, if flawed, character piece with some interesting editing choices that give the sensation of whiplash and un-comfortableness.
An amusing, if somewhat tone-deaf film. There are several ideologies and musings at play, but never a compelling through line to thematically stringing them together. Most problematically, Assayas isn’t offering a unique POV. His ideas about the publishing world and printing have been deconstructed to exhaustion. Non-Fiction feels like Woody Allen-lite with a french twist.
Noticeable step down for Assayas after the one-two punch of Sils Maria/Personal Shopper. The characters are cyphers, representing viewpoints on a variety of complex topics such as political honesty, the rise of new media, e-books vs print, writing ethics. These are rich, heady debates even if it is more panel than drama. To liven up matters, most of the characters are having affairs because this is a French comedy.
Aggressively boring, but the rhythm starts to cast a spell. Good characters, good acting. I like the pacing, the way the story skips forward in time. It's kinda crazy how mundane the pseudo-intellectual ruminations re: The Age of Information were. No interesting observations, no particularly boneheaded ones either. The scene where Leonard tackles Selena onto the bed was really cute.