The CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA are a serpent made of nothing but damp air – a meteorological phenomenon mirroring both the magic and the inescapable consequences of things we see creeping up on us. Like the chance of a lifetime, like age, love, envy or a craving for death. All of them very apt themes for drama, be it on stage, in films or in real life. This is a “backstage” film, but also a behavioural study.
It’s hard to tell the difference, at times. Between acting and acting out. Juliette Binoche (as elderly diva Maria Enders) and Kristen Stewart (as her personal assistant Valentine) carry Olivier Assayas’ masterpiece CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA on their fragile shoulders and broad backs, in an ebb and flow of prowess and panic on both sides. The video embedded here is the very one both characters watch in the film, as they are holed up in the Swiss Alps in order to let Binoche’s character rehearse a theatre play named after the weather phenomenon: “Maloja Snake”, a story about a young girl cruelly manipulating an older woman who had madly fallen in love with her. She knows the piece very well, but detests the fact that she has to play the older counterpart of the role with which she had once started her career. That role will be taken by shrill young superstar Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz) who sycophantly woos the elder actress as her “role model” (sic!) but won’t hesitate to put her in her place on stage in the last part of the film, among a theatre setting made of mirrors and glass, cold, transparent and oh so revealing. Brilliant as slightly diabolic theatre director who quite literally stages the whole drama: Lars Eidinger. [aartikel]B00PT4YAD0:left[/aartikel]