This film lost me, I tried to get into finding the performances impressive but there was something about the story or the editing that just couldn’t keep my attention. I think there is an audience for Clouds of Sils Maria but it’s definitely not me. Focusing on the story of an established actress who after the death of one her mentor finds herself being cast in a retelling of play she performed in her youth mirroring her career as it’s a character she will know play the older character. The actress Maria Enders played by Juliette Binoche is dealing with insecurities and jealousies as the film has her interact with many people of her past. Along side Binoche is Kristen Stewart as Enders personal assistant who joins her.
This film like many independent films about actors and the performing arts takes some aim against mainstream films. Binoche’s character views portions of her career as embarrassing failures, having to be reduced to green screen and wires in X-Men films. I get that some filmmakers find the Hollywood system to be contrived and that many actors believe that it is not “art” or “real acting” but this film just shows that attitude as pretentious. It doesn’t add anything new to that idea you’re kinda just annoyed that by bashing mainstream films it somehow makes them more superior as “actors”. I know that people feel that way, they prefer Theatre, independent film, performance art, they despise the influx of superhero movies but the film can’t get audiences without that viewpoint to become invested in it.
The performances are very good however, my main issues are with the story and its execution however the acting is very compelling. Binoche and Stewart especially work very well together, when the film has Binoche’s character run her lines its clever when you can’t tell who they are talking as. Are they merely running lines or are they really talking about their own relationship as the play mirrors the two characters Binoche and Stewart portray. Chloe Grave Moretz represents the younger generation of actresses, she’s made a career from franchise films and has a public persona as a wreck. She is to be Binoche’s co-star in the play and that has Binoche’s character reflect on her own career and where she is now in life.
Overall the film didn’t affect me in very much, performances from Stewart and Binoche weren’t enough to keep me invested in the film. When it was over I was unsure by what I just watched and wasn’t keen to really think about the film any further. It was pretentious, confusing at times and disappointing, I didn’t understand what I watching. However if you are a fan of artistic independent films then it might be for you, I can’t recommend it but check out the trailer maybe there’s something there for you.