Country: France / others
Movie Review: “Clouds of Sils Maria”, the compelling new drama from the acclaimed director Olivier Assayas, gathers all the necessary elements to provide a focused, well structured, and mesmerizing session of contemporary cinema. We follow Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche), a celebrated actress who crosses the Alps on a train in the company of her dedicated assistant and friend, Valentine (Kristen Stewart). They’re heading to Zurich where she’s going to homage and receive a prize in the name of Whilem Melchior, the director who launched her career when she was 18. ‘Maloja Snake’ was the name of the play where she represented flawlessly a young girl who seduces and then destroys an older woman. Her plan to visit Wilhem at his place in Sils Maria after the event is thwarted by the news of his death. Soon she forgets about it, since Klaus, a new emerging director, invites her to participate in his version of the same play, but this time in the role of the older woman. Even feeling weird about it, Maria accepts, not without developing a strong curiosity about Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz), the polemic young actress who will be playing her former role. Assayas sets up a world of cynicism, moods, direct confrontations and put up postures, at the same time that insecurities, indecisions, and even superstitions, give shape to Maria’s character, in an absorbing, realistic way. Suddenly, aging became so difficult for Maria whose close relationship with Valentine is visibly affected by the play. “Clouds of Sils Maria” feels spontaneous, entangling us deeply along its perceptive observations.