A new film, “1,000 Times Good Night,” starring Juliette Binoche, looks at a woman who's torn between her very dangerous occupation and her quiet family life. NY1's Neil Rosen filed the following review.
Binoche plays Rebecca, an acclaimed wartime photographer who constantly puts her life on the line to capture images of atrocities that are going on around the world.
While taking photos of a car bomb that explodes in Kabul, she almost dies. It's a life threatening pattern that her husband and children, back home in Ireland, find it almost impossible to deal with. They cringe every time the phone rings, thinking it may be bad news that Rebecca was killed on the job.
Rebecca is given an ultimatum: that she better give up her dangerous lifestyle and become a more stable wife and mother. She gives it a shot, but she's constantly being pulled back into the firestorm that is her career.
The slow pace of the film often works to good effect as we see the evolution of Binoche's character. How she tries to adjust to domestic life, even though it goes against her very nature. We begin to wonder if her job was really about saving the world through her photos, or if she was just addicted to the thrill of it all.
Norwegian writer director Erik Popper was once a war photographer himself and in some ways the movie is semi-autobiographical.
Binoche turns in a good multi-layered performance, making you care about her travails as she conveys the inner workings of her complex character. The entire supporting cast is also excellent, while the screenplay takes you in unexpected directions.
The film does lag a bit at times, but several harrowing and emotionally-packed scenes due their part to compensate.
Neil Rosen's Big Apple Rating: Three apples