A unique “battle of the sexes” played out as a battle of the arts drives the charming, intriguing new film starring Juliette Binoche (THE ENGLISH PATIENT, TROIS COULEURS: BLUE) and Clive Owen (THE BOURNE IDENTITY, CROUPIER) from Fred Schepisi, the director of ROXANNE, SIX DEGREES OF SEPARATION and—close to home!—EMPIRE FALLS. Speaking of close to home, WORDS AND PICTURES is set in Maine, where Prep school English teacher Jack Marcus (Clive Owen) laments his students’ obsession with social media and good grades rather than engaging with the power of the written word. A one-time literary star, Jack has not published in years, filling his spare time with drink rather than the art of language. He meets his match in Dina Delsanto (Juliette Binoche)—an abstract painter and new teacher on campus, who was once celebrated for her art. From the start, the two flirt and provoke each other with equal relish. With a performance review looming and his teaching job on the line, Jack hatches an inspired plan for galvanizing student interest in their studies: he declares a war between Words and Pictures, confident that the former can convey greater meaning than the latter. Dina and her art students accept the challenge between Jack and his English students, and the battle lines are drawn. PG-13. 111 Min.
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