Olivier Assayas’s Non-Fiction is a Funny but Empty Comedy: TIFF Review


Olivier Assayas is the sort of director whose films talk quite a lot but he’s also one to lose himself in that conversation, and Non-Fiction builds itself within that realm. Yet there’s also another level to which the films of Assayas can find themselves teetering between being as insightful as ever or outright self-indulgent. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of his work, for his ability to make the very most out of small conversations that happen within the heat of the moment already feels like enough to make for something entertaining – and while I’m not going to deny that Non-Fiction has its more entertaining moments, I ended up leaving with an overwhelming feeling of dissatisfaction over myself. It stings even more, because this still remains the Olivier Assayas that I’ve always loved – yet here I am torn between deciding whether this is where he feels worn out or maybe I’m the one being worn and alienated. But I think if there’s anything else that I can say about what I’ve learned about Assayas from the many films of his that I’ve watched, it would be that I’ve always admired him more as a writer than I did as a director.

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