YOU WHO U THINK I AM (U.S. premiere March 6 and 9 at Lincoln Center/Unifrance’s annual Rendez-Vous with French Cinema series; Cohen Media releases commercially on August 7th) stars Juliette Binoche as a fiftysomething Parisian university prof who, heartbroken after her significant other took off with the proverbial younger woman, jumps on social media to do some snooping. Fumbling as a novice on Facebook, she accidentally bumps into and begins an innocent chat with a much younger man from the provinces (Call My Agent’s François Civil).
As he becomes more interesting and interested, she creates a phony profile of herself as a 24-year-old. Their virtual friendship grows more serious and, of course, more sexy and complicated, especially after they agree to meet in person. Twists and surprising turns ensue but ultimately make complete sense in a digital age of infinite social options for disconnected people longing to connect.
Juliette Binoche gives another startling performance that is optimized by a sly script adaptation from the popular novel and a solid supporting cast highlighting veteran actor Nicole Garcia as an elusive but focused therapist. Director Safy Nebbou skillfully delivers
a timely, highly engaging work that ingeniously juggles many important and unexpected themes. He leverages such effective storytelling with powerful close-ups that up the intimacy of it all as he slyly twists a seemingly innocent rom-com premise into something darker — a dizzying, suspenseful journey into an all too recognizable world empowered by advancing technology that ironically reveals how unknowable people remain as lines between real and unreal blur.