Who You Think I Am (M18)
Opens July 15 exclusively at The Projector
A professor of French literature in her 50s catfishes a younger man on Facebook. He falls hard for the gorgeous 20-something she has assembled from stolen pictures. She, in turn, feels genuine passion for the man she has deceived.
Things must, of course, come to a head in this mystery-tinged drama based on a novel by French writer Camille Laurens. Much of the suspense deals with motivation – as the story unspools, the impulses that drive Claire Millaud (Juliette Binoche) are explained.
This is the Cyrano de Bergerac story updated to become a study of an enigmatic woman whose layers do not fully reveal themselves until the final act.
As the English title implies, Who You Think I Am is not a question, but a statement of fact about the curated and often deliberately misleading identities found on Instagram and other social media platforms.
Alex (Francois Civil) loves “Clara”, Claire’s alter ego, and yearns to meet her in real life to further their relationship past sexting and steamy chats.
She is caught between living a lie and coming clean and risking not just rejection, but also his anger and disgust. Clara is the fully realised person Claire always felt she was meant to be, she explains to her therapist, who has just accused her of living someone else’s life.
“To live another life? Not another one. Mine. At last,” she says.
Director Safy Nebbou explores the dissonance between the real and the virtual in a cool, mannered style that often feels at odds with the story’s more florid moments.
The secrets that spill towards the end also feel too insubstantial to be worth the journey getting there.
Binoche, however, delivers her best performance in ages as the secretive Claire, a woman balanced between two worlds, trying to keep the walls between them from falling.
The Ice Road (PG13)
Opens July 15
The road in question is in northern Manitoba, Canada, a place of forests and lakes that freeze in winter, giving truckers a more direct route should they need it.
That need arises when an explosion occurs, trapping a team of miners underground. Unless air-pumping equipment arrives quickly, they will suffocate.
Enters Mike, played by Liam Neeson. It is a part the Northern Irish actor could play in his sleep – Mike is quick with his fists and spare with his speech. He frets over his special-needs brother Gurty (Marcus Thomas).
Mike and fellow drivers Goldenrod (Laurence Fishburne) and Tantoo (Amber Midthunder) have to haul life-saving cargo over the fragile ice.
No movie about big trucks should lack hardware. On that score, this project delivers, its three shiny diesel behemoths adding plenty of vehicular eye candy.
This attempt at making a fictionalised big-screen version of the Ice Road Truckers reality show (2007 to 2017) runs out of petrol, however, in its action set-ups, when it becomes clear that its budget cannot cover its ambitions.
Instead of real truck crashes, there are computer-generated facsimiles. These might be forgivable if not for the story’s clumsy tonal shifts and plot turns that make no sense. In this disaster rescue story, a lot more than just trucks ride on thin ice.
Space Jam: A New Legacy (PG)
Opens July 15
In this follow-up to the much-loved Space Jam (1996), basketball star LeBron James (as himself, also voicing his animated character) and his son Dom (Cedric Joe) find themselves inserted into a virtual world ruled by the artificial intelligence AI-G Rhythm (Don Cheadle) and, with the help of classic Warner Bros cartoon characters such as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and Porky Pig, must find a means of escape.