Juliette Binoche stars alongside Kristen Stewart in a film that has many critics lavishing praise on both actresses.
Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria is, according to The Hollywood Reporter critic Todd McCarthy, “an engaging, if rarefied, inside look at the private world of a star.” But it is also a study of the affect age has on women--or the perception of women by a media hungry public and those who serve that audience. And it is also a clever working of a play within a film.
Binoche plays her age as actress Maria Enders who is offered a part in a revival of the play that made her name. Back then Maria was a 20-year old novice who played the role of a young woman who manipulates and eventually destroys an older woman who is obsessed with her. This time Maria will play the older woman, with the younger role played by an American adolescent actress (played by Chloe Grace Moretz).
But it is Maria’s relationship with her personal assistant, played by Kristen Stewart, around which the film revolves--for much of its duration they are the only two characters on screen. It is clear that their relationship is starting to mirror that in the play with which Maria is now so familiar. “Their give-and-take and the timing of their exchanges, particularly in the rehearsal sequences, is wonderfully fluid and non-theatrical,” says McCarthy. He and Xan Brooks in The Guardian both enjoyed the film, and that is recommendation enough for us to pass on to you.
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