One of my favorite actresses, Juliette Binoche celebrates her birthday on March 9th. So, I can't think of a better way to recognize the occasion than watch one of her many memorable performances.
Either due to habit or general principle, Tomas never stays the night with a woman after sex.
Sabina doesn’t particularly mind, because she enjoys his company and prowess in the bedroom.
Tomas, a doctor in 1968 Prague, displays a confident air with everyone, and especially with women.
“Take off your clothes,” Tomas says.
The women always follow his command, and promptly remove their clothing.
Smart, handsome and the world at his feet, Tomas swaggers in and out of the operating rooms and bedrooms, but his world changes instantly when he meets Tereza (Juliette Binoche).
An early 20-something brunette beauty with porcelain skin, rosy cheeks and innocent eyes, she creates waves and disrupts trains of thought - without knowing it - for men who catch just a brief sight of her.
When Tomas stays the night with Tereza, he and we (the audience) realize she is a game-changer.
In director Philip Kaufman’s highly sexual relationship drama, the film introduces love to a man who never really wanted to seek it out, and shows the complexities and fallout from this unlikely collision course.
The film focuses around Tomas’s previously straightforward relationship with Sabina, his new bond with Tereza and the connections between all three people.
Monogamy and adultery pull at one another, and we wonder which opposing idea will either bring Tomas and Tereza together or blow them apart.
Life, of course, isn’t so black and white, and Kaufman’s and Jean-Claude Carrière’s screenplay offers much more depth than a classic love triangle.
The film carries into political themes of communism and oppression while Tomas, Tereza and Sabina try to continue their lives unabated.
This proves to be impossible as the weight of communism mirrors the weight of the previously mentioned emotional conflicts.
Day-Lewis, Binoche and Olin give exceedingly strong performances to support these grown-up themes.
We see Tomas’s initial smugness, but it transforms to something else while Tereza and Sabina react to his later struggles to define himself.
Olin and Binoche also make huge impressions with their fearless performances.
Olin’s Sabina waves her independence like a 50-foot flag in a windstorm, and this seductive siren isn’t afraid to state her immediate desires or deliver her intentions with a steely stare.
Binoche, on the other hand, portrays a virginal innocent who then earns insight through the reality of her flawed relationship with Tomas.
Tereza calls herself weak, but she’s clearly not, and we applaud her personal growth over the course of the picture.
These three people create and evolve their bonds, and while Kaufman showcases two individuals on screen, the third might be off-screen, but is never far behind.
A nearly three-hour story, “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” is a most rewarding and winding journey, and effectively captures life’s surprises through the serendipitous results of a new connection.
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