Or, My Globehopping Dinner with Charlotte. The exceedingly talented star of The Night Porter and Under the Sand holds captivating court in Angelina Maccarone's come-into-my-world documentary portrait. Divided into sections with headings like "Age" and "Taboo," the film follows Rampling as she discusses her philosophies of art and life with friends like author Paul Auster and fashion photographer Juergen Teller. The settings are always casual---in a restaurant over a glass of wine; on a break from a film rehearsal---and the conversation erudite without being off-putting. There's something about Rampling's demeanor that pulls us in. We just have to know what's going on behind that gorgeous face, with its protruding cheeks and drowsily intelligent eyes.
If The Look gets a tad monotonous after the halfway point, it's due to Maccarone's inability to wrangle the varied dialogues into something larger; you often feel as if you're watching a series of pithy short films strung together, rather than a cohesive feature. But the pieces still fascinate, as when Rampling talks with a glint in her pupils about how every human being is a bit monstrous, or when she charms a group of French pensioners in a park. There's an all-embracing openness here that belies the often cold and calculating characters she plays onscreen. She's the perfect confluence of brains and beauty, and it's a pleasure to be in her company.
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