In the new romantic comedy “Words and Pictures,” a rolling office chair becomes a tool for art creation. Juliette Binoche, playing an art teacher whose rheumatoid arthritis affects her ability to paint, lies on her stomach across the chair, grabs a paintbrush and swivels from one part to another of the canvas on the floor. Passion and pain become a part of each stroke, as Ms. Binoche both plays a visual artist and is one.
The film, due May 23, follows the competitive relationship between an art teacher and an English teacher (Clive Owen) at a prep school. Both have strong opinions about which medium of expression matters most. The paintings by Ms. Binoche’s character, Dina Delsanto, are seen in various finished and unfinished forms throughout the movie. But there are no art doubles here. Ms. Binoche created all of the canvases herself.