Countless times, in cinema, we've witnessed the battle of the sexes…but have we ever seen the battle between words and pictures?
Refreshing as it is deeply moving, “Words and Pictures” is more than just words games and picture puzzles; it is about a daring fight worth seeing. The quirky, romantic, comedy with art film elements has a unique appeal. Jack (Clive Owen) and Dina (Juliette Binoche) play two troubled, yet highly-acclaimed teachers who meet at crucial times in their personal lives and instantaneously declare war, for their art of choice.
The students in their classes get a kick out of this rivalry and soon join their appropriate teams. What starts as child’s play, turns into something much more evolved as the film progresses, sort of like art itself.
While the pressure mounts in and outside work, the crippling characters are engaging, but truly a piece of work; they face not just the challenges of their day-job, but their own personal demons. Reminiscent of character-driven movies from the 80s and 90s, the people feel real and the story feels as authentic as documentaries. The plot is centered around a quest for truth-- whatever that may be to them, in that moment and in that space. You root for this love/hate relationship to work, harmoniously that is. It is a story about the power of passion and how people can inspire you. The questions the film suggest are special to any person who appreciates art yet, the presentation of the fight and dedication to the process may make those who are casual art bystanders, start to see the beauty behind it.
The dialogue is witty and probably what will make this film memorable years from now. The problems in the 21st century classroom are displayed realistically, but just scratch the surface because the real focus is the love story. Here and there, there are some cheeky moments and clichés, but the movie moves right along before you can really remember. There were a lot of laughs but also some awe-inspiring moments when taken behind the doors: watching the process pieces come together and the revelatory moments as each artist fights to reach their own personal and artistic summit.
It's a glimpse at a chapter in their life as opposed to a four-season romance. They both have their own idea of perfection. They both have let that hinder them in some way. But in each other’s imperfections, they are becoming…better. Like words and pictures, what is one without the other? Why does a choice have to be made when they both can work well together? Although the people are far from perfect, the marriage between words and pictures proves to me to be the perfect union.
Texan Blogger, Micole Williams is an educator, filmmaker, author and entertainment columnist for Empower Magazine and www.will-m-power.blogspot.com. Info on her "Tangled Web of True Love Tales" book/film/web series can be found at www.twotlt.weebly.com. Follow her on new page, #TWOTLT (theTWOTLTseries) on Twitter.