So after hearing so much praise for months; a film which was a festival darling and stars Juliette Binoche (an actress whom I admire) in an English language film, I finally had the chance to see ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’. And as the film began, it slowly comes as a realization that it is more in love with its content than telling an actual interesting story.
After being offered to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years earlier, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) goes back to her past, along with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) to the celebrity lifestyle that she despises so much.
Olivier Assayas has clearly made better works in his native french language because this is definitely not the pinnacle of his talent as a director. Other than Binoche (trying ever so hard to inject life into this dull picture), the wooden performances from everyone else are mind bogglingly god awful (including Kristen Stewart’s mumbling dialogue delivery). And a story which soley works on writing and performances, none of it lives up to its promised expectations.
‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ is nothing more than an ostentatious ‘All about Eve’ which tries to poke fun at other Hollywood genres and life styles but has absolutely no substance of its own. Why would one sympathize with the protagonist if she is as just as bland as the celebrity life style that it is trying to make fun of? Does one really want to wittness the woes of being an aging actress who lacks a compelling soul herself?
The story gives no reason for the viewers to be invested in the characters or the circumstances throughout its two hour runtime and is a reminder that a film with just conversations is only good when it have something interesting to say. Although I personally hate this term, this film gives “Art Films” a bad name.