Who You Think I Am

Movie review by
Stefan Pape, Common Sense Media
Who You Think I Am Movie Poster Image
Profound French melodrama about catfishing; sexual content.
  • NR
  • 2019
  • 101 minutes

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The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

There are few positive messages with selfishness, manipulation, and personal gain all prominent. However, the theme of therapy is important, encouraging people to talk about their inner thoughts.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Claire selfishly deceives a young man for her own personal gain, toying with his mental health. She can also be inadvertently cruel; using people and ignoring her children. But she does remain relatable and her situation is empathetic.

Violence

Suicide is discussed. A character is hit by a car, flying into the air in a graphic way.

Sex

Two characters have sex while standing up. A character masturbates while on a phone call -- no nudity is shown. Another sex scene shows a silhouette of the two characters. Breasts are briefly seen.

Language

The movie is in French with English subtitles. Regular use of "s--t" and occasional use of "f--k." An erotic phone call takes place that involves sexual language and a character describing themselves masturbating.

Consumerism

Characters discuss using Uber, and the lead character frequently uses Facebook. The dangers of social media -- and fake profiles -- are evident.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Characters drink wine at a dinner party. A character drinks shots at a party.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Who You Think I Am (Celle que vous croyez) is a compelling French drama -- with English subtitles -- and profound study of mental health. Claire (Juliette Binoche) a middle-aged woman, make a series of bad decisions that threaten both hers, and a young man's well-being. Facebook is a prominent part of the story, with the dangers of social media for all to see. Though Claire's insecurities are relatable, she continuously lies -- ultimately paying the price for her deceit. The value of therapy is explored, and celebrated. The movie has scenes of a sexual nature which are graphic in their depiction -- though only breasts are shown. In one scene, Claire masturbates while on the phone. The characters swear infrequently -- "s--t" and "f--k" -- though there is much sexual dialogue between the lead characters. Characters also drink alcohol in social situations. There is some discussion of suicide and in one scene a character is hit by a car.

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What's the story?

In WHO YOU THINK I AM, Claire (Juliette Binoche), a divorced teacher, creates a fictional persona on social media of a young, beautiful fashion worker to lure in photographer Alex (Francois Civil). Gradually, the two begin a relationship over the phone. But when the time comes for them to meet in person, Claire faces a dilemma, while pondering exactly what led her to act this way in the first place.

Is it any good?

Directed by France's Safy Nebbou, this film is a fascinating character study of a 50-year old divorced teacher, in what is a nuanced exploration of mental health. In Claire, Binoche crafts a complex character and the psychology of the role is tackled well, through therapy sessions. Binoche is truly remarkable, taking a good film and turning it into a great one.

Despite Claire's evident flaws and damaging dishonesty -- to both herself and others -- all her insecurities are endearing as well as recognizable. It makes for a sympathetic and compassionate tale with Claire remaining relatable throughout. Given the character's affliction for deceit, Who You Think I Am has a sense of unreliability, which makes for a compelling affair.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the depiction of social media in Who You Think I Am?  What are the dangers of the likes of Facebook? What is catfishing and why do people do it? What steps can you take in order to be safe online?

  • Talk about the sexual content in the movie. What does it represent for the characters? Parents, talk to your teens about your own values regarding sex and relationships.

  • How is mental health explored in the movie? Do you think it's an accurate portrayal? Claire spends a lot of time in therapy. How can talking about your issues, fears, and anxieties help you?

  • Claire creates a web of lies and ultimately pays the price for her deception. What did you take from this? What is the value in being honest at all times?

  • Claire is a complex and nuanced female character -- something we don't always see in movies. What did you think of this depiction of a woman? Would you like to see more like this?

Movie details

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