4.5 we are peeping through the crack in the logic that divides fiction and reality comparable to kiarostami's close up. this device in the narrative transitively pushes our perception of binoche's character/binoche's pain and agony more. are they rehearsing or they are really saying it? the tension between binochet's strong and stewart's subdued personality is just powerful af
Assayas creates a very specific world, enlivens it with two very specific and complex women, encourages thought and discussion with heady, didactic dialogue, and shifts the core themes of its story from audience, to real world, to film, to film within the film, and so forth until we feel lost in the ideas of something just as actors do when their work inspires them.
"Sils Maria" takes place in a glamorous, surface-level world of avant garde actors and playwrights, a world most viewers will likely have a hard time relating to - thankfully, the story is anchored by Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, who share terrific chemistry. Stewart, in particular, has never been better, and the scene of Binoche laughing at how seriously Stewart takes superhero movies is an all-time great.
This one. Don't know what to say because I don't know wtf this film even exists for. None of the characters were likeable. But it's so complex it's kind of awe-inspiring. Mental masturbation pure and simple. Three stars for it's sheer intricacy and K-Stew in a thong.
An intimate look into the life an aging actress, a personal assistant, and an up-and-coming rival. While Clouds of Sils Maria is incredibly meta, it never becomes distracting. Material like this could be totally over the top, but Assayas' never succumbs to those trappings. Some of the material comes off as flat or too on the nose. Nevertheless, each actor is fully committed and riveting within their own characters.
ambiguity is useful until it passes a line of confusion and indecipherability. maria tiptoes around the core of a character, lost in melodrama; her redemption is hollow. val is strong, almost fleshed-out, yet pushed into the function of an accessory. her disappearance lacks mystique or punch. moretz's acting is plasticine- jo-ann's less a 'modern' actress, more an out-of-touch middle-aged man's idea of one.
A film that gives the impression of being self-reflexive as it builds little models of itself within its walls. But like so many films about aging stars, it works as an overstatement of the actors' pathos and importance. As much as I "like" Binoche and Stewart, did the very old meteorological phenomenon need them to make the audience transfixed by its beauty, or did they need it as a saving mise-en-abyme?
Juliette Binoche is an absolute powerhouse in this film and her chemistry with Kristen Stewart is absolutely magnetic here and Assayas perfectly captures the seething emotions in this picture that has a lot to say about acting, aging, and the state of the world we live in today. Chloe Grace Moretz is also perfect as the acidic young star.
The famously expressionless Kristen Stewart was born to play this part, providing a surprisingly good counterpoint to Binoche's emotional style of acting. The cinematography is warm but pretty unremarkable, and the editing feels cluttered and sloppy. As far as story goes, although initially solid, it ends up leaving too many loose ends, as if midway through the script everyone got tired and quickly wrapped it up.