Advocacy / Arthritis / arthritis awareness / Arthritis Foundation / Awareness / rheum awareness / rheumatoid arthritis awareness

Movie Review: “Words and Pictures” (The RA Movie!)


I hate to do this. I really, really hate to do this. I wanted to love this movie, simply for the fact that the heroine is a woman who lives with arthritis — and not just any kind of arthritis, but rheumatoid arthritis.

The reality, though, is that I did not love this movie. I’d maybe give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • I think that lead actress Juliette Binoche did a pretty good job of portraying the difficulties of life with RA.
  • I do not think that Juliette Binoche’s character was particularly likable.
  • I think that the idea was there, but that the execution was not.
  • I feel like the acting was okay, but that the script could have been a little better.
  • I found the movie to be boring and, at times, bordering on silly — and not “good” silly.

This was just one of those movies that I, for whatever reason, simply could not get into. Perhaps my expectations were too high. Maybe I just wanted it to be better than it really was.

What I will say, though, is that Ms. Binoche did a phenomenal job of dedicating herself to preparing for her role. I heard that she ‘shadowed’ an RA patient for awhile, spoke with doctors, etc. She did a wonderful job, and I think that some of her emotions were pretty true-to-life.

But the RA itself at times seemed too glaringly obvious, and, at other times, was not clarified nearly enough. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but, those are my feelings. I should include the disclaimer that once a movie loses my interest, it’s hard for me to regain it. So I may have zoned out a bit in the middle. Maybe I should have given it a fairer chance, but it just didn’t “grab” me from the get-go.

That said, don’t take my word for it, of course! Feel free to watch it for yourself and decide. Maybe you will come away with a completely different perspective. My take was just that it either needed to focus more on the RA, maybe explaining it a little more somehow, OR, not have it be mentioned at all, and focused on some other plot elements a bit more strongly. For me, it was simply too in-between, and the fact that I disliked the main characters was problematic, too. Most importantly, though, I’m glad that it thrust RA into the spotlight and brought rheumatoid arthritis a little more into the public eye. Boring (to me!) or not, that in and of itself is a great step for awareness!

Did you see this movie? What do you think?

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