Clouds of Sils Maria

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Released 2014

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Movie Summary

Director:
Olivier Assayas
Released:
2014
Rating:
R
At eighteen, Maria Enders was successful in theatre with MalojaSnake. She played Sigird, an ambitious girl with disorder charm who fascinated and led to suicide Helena, a mature woman. This role has changed her life. More than twenty years have passed when, at the peak of her fame, she was asked to receive in Zurich a prestigious award on behalf of Wilhelm Melchior, the author and director to which she owes her early recognition, and now lives as a recluse, in Sils Maria (Switzlerland). But the sudden death of the latter, a few hours before the ceremony, puts Maria Enders against the vertigo of time, that is of a past which she hasn't got away with. And even more when a young director in vogue asks her to play again in MalojaSnake, but this time on the other side of the story, Helena's, from the destruction of who she's built her notoriety. Caught in the turmoil of a divorce, which deprives her of any sentimental support, her only interlocutor is her assistant, Valentine, both the multi task assistant and her only friend, even if Maria and Valentine are trying to remove ambiguities of this intimate and exclusive relationship. But the real threat is called Jo-Ann Ellis, a very young Hollywood actress with a scandalous reputation and who'll play Sigrid. At once a rival and a disturbing mirror of her youth, which she will have no choice but to deal with. In order to reconcile with time, with age, with maturity, ending by learning that at all seasons of a life you must conquer freedom, independence and also the strength to be yourself, and sometimes painfully.moreless

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The Guardian Peter Bradshaw

    If Assayas's film finally falls just shy of being great art itself, it is at least handsomely staged and played with conviction.

  • 80

    The Telegraph Robbie Collin

    This is a complex, bewitching and melancholy drama, another fearlessly intelligent film from Assayas.

  • 70

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Binoche and Stewart seem so natural and life-like that it would be tempting to suggest that they are playing characters very close to themselves. But this would also be denigrating...

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Drama