Juliette Binoche plays Isabelle, a recently divorced Parisian painter in Claire Denis’s “Let the Sunshine In,” and she spends most of the movie edging in and out of sour relationships with inappropriate men, more than one of them married.
What makes the movie watchable as more than an exercise in masochism is that Isabelle is also a battler. She may not be very good at choosing men but she’s not bad at rejecting them once the writing is on the wall – which is often soon enough. Despite the film’s philosophical overlay, including a pointy-headed nod to Roland Barthes, Denis and her co-writer, Christine Angot, present the proceedings as a species of comedy. Isabelle is flummoxed by her own gullibility and even more so by the subterfuges of the men (played by, among others, Xavier Beauvois, Nicolas Duvauchelle and, in a cameo at the end, Gérard Depardieu).
The movie is all a bit more airy than it needs to be, but Isabelle’s startlements are like a double take that never lets up. Grade: B (This movie is not rated.)