A romantic comedy is always ideal for getting everyone together on what to watch, so today, let’s talk a little bit about Words and Pictures, an intelligent 2013 movie.
At the beginning of this story, we follow professor Jack, who teaches English at an exclusive New England prep school.
Although everyone admires his writing skills, no one can stand his persistent aggressiveness, often coupled with episodes where the man is blatantly drunk.
In addition, he has a creative freeze and can no longer write, losing his relationships with friends and family.
Everything changes when a new woman arrives at school, Dina, an advanced art teacher who is also an extraordinary painter.
Just like Jack, she has a tough and bossy personality, also having to resign from her previous job because she beat up one of her colleagues.
Unfortunately, she cannot do her art for a long time because she suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, making every finger movement an excruciating pain.
A strange friendship/rivalry immediately arises between the man and woman, which becomes increasingly heated when they debate which of their arts is the most effective: writing or painting.
The discussion soon spreads to their students, involving them in public exhibitions featuring their drawings and literary compositions.
Initially, the school heads are annoyed by this challenge in the name of art, which they believe upsets peace and public harmony.
Later, they must acknowledge the worth of the writings and paintings being exhibited, even organizing a big display with all these works.
At the same time, passion arises between Jack and Dina, stimulating each other’s creativity and will to live.
Unfortunately, his alcohol demon and her fear of pain will not make this relationship easy because each of them will need to learn how to bear their weaknesses.
Art as joy life
Words and Pictures is a 2013 romantic comedy with exactly the narrative development you might expect from this kind of movie.
The lovers meet, like but dislike each other, until passion prevails and they get together, albeit with some big problems.
This is not what makes me recommend it, although the romance and comedy sides are nicely built according to all the genre canons.
I most appreciated the central topic behind Fred Schepisi‘s title, words and pictures, which is the duel between literary and pictorial artists.
Of course, choosing which of these arts is the best is silly since they stimulate our brains in such different ways that they are not comparable.
However, the feeling of the challenge always brings out the best in artists, and whatever they create is ultimately to prove something to others.
This artistry can be as creative as it is for Professor Dina’s girls or as destructive as their boring classmate who tries to belittle their drawings in order to humiliate them.
Besides being destructive, art can also be self-destructive, and this is the case with Professor Jack, an unstoppable stream of words who challenges every colleague with syllables.
Although print media is suffering today compared to the past, with fewer and fewer books compared to digital books, this generation reads more than any previous one.
Sure, many only read nonsense on Twitter or Facebook or look at athletic body pictures on Instagram.
Yet this is a choice of one’s own because now they are available to everyone, like yours truly, for example, who carries on his little film blog, something simply impossible even 20 years ago.
So even you, from musicians to painters or anyone wishing to realize a small independent movie, have countless possibilities our parents did not even dream of.
Stimulating for heart and brain
Although several secondary characters alter the course of the narrative, the only two actors who want to talk about are obviously the two professors in love.
Let’s start with the masculine and stormy side of this relationship, where we have Clive Owen uncontrollable to the point of self-harm for a complex character willing to stimulate his students and colleagues even outside of work and school.
A character that appeals from the start is passionate and intelligent but also full of flaws that make him human and understandable.
With a mix of charm, wit, and vulnerability, this troubled professor nevertheless conveys better than anyone else his passion for language and the written word and his belief in their power to transform lives.
Although she is equally combative about her art, Juliette Binoche, on the other hand, is a more withdrawn and private person who does not like to intimately open up to others, preferring to speak with facts.
Since she can no longer paint, she merely teaches by judging her students’ canvases harshly but fairly and trying to spur them on to improve their potential.
In her private life, however, there is a deep sense of emptiness and loneliness, as well as the daily pain of arthritis that plagues her fingers.
The best of these two characters comes out when they are together, where we have a range of brilliant dialogue marking the story’s pace with much fun and romance.
Perhaps the drama takes over a bit just before the end, yet without ever being boring or trite in the narrative, that leads decently to a reconciliatory ending.
Although many know it among online movie talkers, Words and Pictures was a flop at the box office in 2013.