Comedy Drama

TIFF Review: ‘Non-Fiction’

September 13, 2018Ben MK

Writer/Director Olivier Assayas' followup to 2016's Personal Shopper, Non-Fiction tells the story of a group of longtime friends who find their lives intersecting in unexpected and sometimes comedic ways.

Though very much an ensemble piece, the through line of the narrative follows Léonard (Vincent Macaigne), a writer whose latest semi-autobiographical manuscript — boldly titled "Full Stop" — has his wife Valérie (Nora Hamzawi), his publisher Alain (Guillaume Canet), and Alain's actress wife Selena (Juliette Binoche) trying to guess who the real-life people alluded to in his book might be. But as Léonard slowly begins to realize that his clever attempt at disguising the facts may not be so clever after all, can he get a handle on the personal and professional fallout that ensues?

Set amid the turmoil and uncertainty of the book industry's transition from print to digital, Non-Fiction also serves as a witty commentary on the way we all interact with one another in the age of social media. After all, there's something comforting about the permanency of the physical, but it's the instant gratification of the digital that we all crave.

Non-Fiction makes its Canadian premiere at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 46 min.

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