Words and Pictures

Director: Fred Schepisi
Year Released: 2013
Rating: 2.0

A snide but talented English teacher (Clive Owen) - who has a problem with the drink (no shock there) - starts up a 'competition' with his private high school's new art teacher (Juliette Binoche) to examine whether the written word can compete with the power of imagery. Hackneyed setup notwithstanding - anyone who gives seconds of thought to the concept should realize both are equally powerful (when constructed with great talent) - the performances of Owen and Binoche, who do well together, cannot support the flimsy script, which wants to suggest the 'contest' is intended to assist the students in learning about art but is really an excuse for Owen's character to seduce Binoche (and then botch it up, naturally ... it's always the drink, I swear). Making things worse is the fact that the supposedly 'great' poem Owen plagiarizes (from his son) is mediocre (though everyone seems inexplicably in awe of it) and Binoche's paintings are ho-hum. One can only hope their students will learn more in college....