Words and pictures is a new romantic comedy starring Juliette Binoche and Clive Owen. Owen plays Jack Marcus New England school English teacher. Jack has a drinking problem, is always in a bad mood, and is not really liked by his students. As the film starts, he learns that he’s about to lose, not only his literary magazine, but possibly his job too. Binoche is Dina Delsanto, the new art teacher. Dina is suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, and that forces her to walk with a cane and wear an arm brace. Like Jack, Dina is also not an easy person to like. And they certainly don’t get along with each other. In the teacher’s lounge Jack is trying to engage her in word games, but that always ends up making Dina angrier. And then Dina challenges Jack to a debate : what is better literature or art? Is a picture really worth a 1,000 words? That also challenges the students. And of course the teachers fall for each other. And Jack alcoholism gets in the way (and it does not get better between Jack and his son). Words and pictures has too many clichés, and not enough punch. When the debate comes it is a dud. There are also secondary plots that seems to have been thrown in to make the film longer but have no business here. Binoche and Owen are good, but I was expecting better from veteran director Fred Schepisi. The ideas behind Words and pictures are not really achieved by an ordinary, ineffectual screenplay.
Words and pictures