Writer/Director Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria is, perhaps, the most thought-provoking film I’ve seen this year; the kind of film that sticks in your mind for days after seeing it.
It’s the story of an actress, (superbly played by Juliette Binoche), who, at age 40, is having trouble accepting the fact she is playing the character of the “older woman” in the revival of the play that launched her career at age 20, when she played the ingénue.
On a deeper level, the film examines the world of celebrity, where the quality of talent and performance is overshadowed in the tabloid/social media age of “starmeters” and who is supposedly “hot” and “trending.”
Kristen Stewart gives one of her best performances to date as the au currant personal assistant to Binoche’s character, representing both the new age and the youthfulness the aging actress misses in herself.
The interplay of the two is captivating and insightful, making this a must-see film for those looking for smart adult fare.
Cinematographer Yorick Le Saux’s images of the Swiss Alps and the clouds “snaking” over Sils Maria as harbingers of storms compliment the story and add to the reason for viewing this wonderful film.
I give Clouds of Sils Maria a 4.4 out of 5.