In 1927 Al Jolson sang and spoke in a movie instantly making 'silents' become 'talkies' and for many years most movies had a lot of talk with some silence and then the "Star Wars", "Indiana Jones" among others brought the more action than talking in films. "Non-Fiction" is definitely a talking movie with, maybe, 3 minutes of silence, no dialogue!
There is a lot of talk mainly about books being published, print versus digital, where blogs are the novels, documentaries, etc., and what Truman Capote in 1966 called a non-fiction novel an author here refers to his work as 'autofiction', works based on his real life with names, places and, possibly, events changed.
Leonard (Vincent Macaigne) the author is having an affair with Selena (Juliette Binoche) the wife of his editor, Alain, (Guillaume Canet) who is having an affair with Laure (Christa Theret) who Alain has brought into the company to head the digital department. The only one not having an affair is Leonard's wife, Valerie, (Nora Hamzawi), who is aware and okay with her husband's affair, (hey folks this IS a French film!) as she is very busy helping a Socialist candidate running for office.
The film starts with Alain telling Leonard that he won't publish his latest book which leads to many very interesting discussions about today's publishing world and what it may be tomorrow. Even with scenes of the various couples in, and out of, bed there is talk about writing, reading, authors and what the latter use for source material. Here and there other, non-literary, topics are discussed, some for humor others to explain their relationships but it all gets back to what Leonard's new book is about and the 'autofiction' that pleases the woman, Selena, he is having the affair with or his wife, Valerie, who doesn't want to know anything about the affair.
"Non-Fiction" though well acted and interesting belongs more on PBS or a Hollywood Reporter round table session as it needs a more intimate setting than a theatre auditorium and a large movie screen and you very seldom hear me suggest that!
Juliette Binoche and Guillame Canet reunite with acclaimed director Olivier Assayas (Personal Shopper, Carlos) for this wry, slyly seductive tale of sex, lies, and literature. Set amidst the bohemian intelligentsia of the Parisian publishing world, Non-Fiction traces the romantic and emotional fallout that results when a controversial writer (Vincent Macaigne) begins blurring the line between fact and fiction, using his real-life love affairs - including a passionate fling with an actress (Binoche) who happens to be married to his editor (Canet) - as fodder for his explosive new novel. Balancing dry wit with keen observations on the tensions between art, commerce, and technology, Non-Fiction is a buoyant, breezy delight from a master director at his most effortlessly brilliant.