When Clouds of Sils Maria showed at the Cannes Film Festival, the Hollywood Reporter dismissed the film with,
Given its narrow range of concerns, Clouds of Sils Maria will be mostly of interest to aficionados of theater, acting and the notion of how real and fictional lives can blur to those involved.
Based on what I’m seeing in descriptions of the film and the fact that Kristen Stewart is huge, I’m thinking it may draw in more viewers than that. The film stars Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz. I suppose it’s easy for some to dismiss a film with three female names at the top of the cast, but this attracts me.
The themes in the film deal with acting and how real life and fictional life intersect, but they also deal with aging, with relationships, with hubris, and with power.
The basic plot: a 40ish actress played by Juliette Binoche is offered a part in a play that made her famous 20 years ago. Only this time, she will play the older woman in the story, with her former part going to a tabloid-feeding ingenue played by Chloe Grace Moretz. Kristen Stewart is Binoche’s assistant. Binoche and Stewart go to a remote location in Switzerland called Sils-Maria during the process of deciding whether or not to take the part.
As I mentioned, part of the dilemma the Binoche character faces is accepting her age, but there is also a strong parallel between the plot of the play wherein “an older woman falls in love with a scheming girl who has her wrapped around her little finger” and the relationship between Binoche and her assistant.
Any story about the relationships among women should be given a look, in my opinion. Here’s a preview.
If you’ve seen it already, or go see it, please share your reactions.