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Words and Pictures: Love and argument


This funny and romantic movie explores love and the beginning of an eternal debate over what’s more important: words or pictures

Words and Pictures tackles a debate that philosophers have been having for centuries. Far from dry arguments and dull texts, Jack Marcus (played by the hunky Clive Owen) and Dina Delsanto (played by French actress Juliette Binoche) are in love.

As two teachers teaching the subjects they love in school, the situation soon descends into dramatic arguments and strong debates pitching both the lovers and the students against each other.

But who is right and what will it mean for these two lovers as they explore a deeply important issue?

Lovers Divided

Love is the central plot to this story. The debate is just the premise.

What Dina and Jack truly care about is fighting for what they’re passionate for in an advanced public school setting. As teachers of writing and art, they couldn’t be further apart in their opinion.

Writer Gerald Di Pego skilfully separates the two characters in their beliefs, but joins them together in passion. Writing and art are both creative pursuits, and this is what he wants to illustrate.

This is what ultimately draws the two characters together, to make them realise they’re deeply in love.


More than a Romance

The romance is always something that happens behind the scenes. It’s never something that makes its way into the classroom.

Ultimately, the story ends in a final competition between students of both classes. This friendly yet fierce competition demonstrates the coming-of-age aspect of this film.

Students are drawn together and learn to appreciate other subjects and points of view. At the same time, they gain a new level of appreciation for their own subjects.

This practical approach to teaching is both in the spirit of competition and in the spirit of learning. Such messages are relevant to the real world, but at the same time they don’t take away from the coming-of-age of two classes and the romance going on outside of the classroom.

This is a refreshing film, different from the many romantic movies that are out there.


DIRECTOR: Fred Schepisi
STARRING: Clive Owen & Juliette Binoche
GENRE: Romance, Comedy, Drama
RUN LENGTH: 111 min