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Clouds of Sils Maria

There are three important women in this film, all of whom shine in their roles. Juliette Binoche plays Maria Enders, an aging actress who seems to be at a point in her career when she can have any role she wants; Kristen Stewart plays Valentine, her personal assistant; and Chloe Grace Moretz plays Jo-Ann Ellis, an up an coming actress who is viewed as one of the stars of her generation. Maria began her career in a play in which she played Sigrid, a young woman who drives Helena, the older woman, to suicide. Now, she has signed on to star in the same play but as Helena (with Jo-Ann as the young Sigrid). The film is very rich and textured in its various themes around what it means to be a female star, aging, and the ways that text shapes and is shaped by our lives. It is deeply psychological but great to watch because of the wonderful cinematography, the scenes in which it is difficult to tell what is text and what is real life, and the wonderful performances. Big thumbs up from me; this is a film I need to see again. (2015; 4 stars)

About Gary Burkholder

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