IFC Films | Release Date: April 10, 2015
7.1
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Generally favorable reviews based on 93 Ratings
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7
BHBarryApr 19, 2015
"Clouds of Sils Maria" is a French made film (with total English dialogue) starring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz. The film was written and directed by Olivier Assayas and, perhaps, there lies the problem. This a"Clouds of Sils Maria" is a French made film (with total English dialogue) starring Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz. The film was written and directed by Olivier Assayas and, perhaps, there lies the problem. This a movie showcasing the superb talents of Ms. Binoche and the surprising versatility of Ms. Stewart (who won the French equivalent of our Oscar, i.e. the Cesar, for her performance. Unfortunately, that is where the accolades must end for the writer-director, although attempting to script a clever story of the trials and tribulations of an aging actress faced with her own professional mortality, forgot how to edit and tie each chapter of the film into a cohesive easy to follow tale. The movie has more unresolved issues and loose ends than a mutant octupus. Adding to the confusion is the fact that this basically three person film is over 2 hours in length which only makes what might have been tolerable in a shorter version uncomfortable to watch in the one it is in. If ratings were based on performances alone, the film which generate a much higher number but, as a total theatrical experience, I can only award it a 7. "All About Eve" said it better and in a much shorter period of time. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
GinaKDec 27, 2015
A haunting film by Olivier Assayas about art, time, and irony. An actress who made her name playing the younger woman in a play about the relationship of two woman (one younger and one older) is asked many years later to play the older woman.A haunting film by Olivier Assayas about art, time, and irony. An actress who made her name playing the younger woman in a play about the relationship of two woman (one younger and one older) is asked many years later to play the older woman. She hesitates but finally agrees and then ironically has an even greater success as the older woman. The film follows the actress, played magnificently by Juliette Binoche as she hesitates and then prepares for the new production, and Assayas manages to mix the actress’s feelings with the text of the play so that you never quite know if the actress or her character in the play is speaking. The supporting cast members, especially Kristen Stewart, are also superb. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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7
DRauchDoes2015Apr 10, 2015
Clouds of Sils Maria has finally received a much belated release after premiering at Cannes nearly a year ago. For this cinephile, it was worth the wait. This is a work abundant with engaging, legitimately stimulating discussions on theClouds of Sils Maria has finally received a much belated release after premiering at Cannes nearly a year ago. For this cinephile, it was worth the wait. This is a work abundant with engaging, legitimately stimulating discussions on the medium of acting made so by their depth of understanding of the craft, emotional honesty, and eerie, meta-nature in the context of the story. Clouds of Sils Maria is a movie-about-movies simultaneously self-aware and yet pitched so realistically devoid of false self-importance that it stands above other Hollywood-centered works (Maps to the Stars, to name one recent effort), putting commentary as it's prime focus, rather than succumbing to a winking, surface-level vanity project.

The pacing is sluggish at times and the narrative has it's passages of arid aimlessness, but the dialogue, delivered with multi-faceted gravitas by the central three actresses (Stewart in particular strikes a nerve) never ceases to provoke thought. Assayas never opts a declaration of any outright theme, yet provides enough fervent discussion for the audience to come to conclusions of their own regarding any wholesome statement. To me, the meaning of Clouds of Sils Maria comes in small doses, during the conversations between Stewart and Binoche or their walks over the scenic mountain range, rather than any obvious cumulative final act. The ending leaves the viewer at somewhat of a loss if they are looking for narrative finality, but this isn't a bad thing; this is a film driven not by it's plot so much as it's ideas.

Some of the things that linger with me most in Clouds of Sils Maria is the metaphorical interconnectedness of the characters, and what, if any, legitimate significance it has. Binoche occasionally mirrors the character she is portraying on stage and Stewart, as her assistant, often resembles many of the qualities of the assistant to her character in the play, blurring the line between reality and rehearsal, as the two will often fade in and out of line readings into actual dialogue. There are so many similar instances of strange, almost cryptic synchronicity: Binoche's divorce and Moretz leading to the divorce of her author boyfriend, Binoche's character's arc ending in a disappearance in the mountains and the same fate befalling Stewart, etc.

I do have a gripe with that final exit of Stewart's, by the way. She is, in my mind, the most surprisingly thoughtful, vanity-free portrayal in the film and her character's arc ends on a bizarrely ambiguous decrescendo. It is a conclusion that feels muted and unceremonious for her, leaving the third-act devoid of the same level of titillating banter that elevated Clouds of Sils Maria to such highs before.

Repeated viewings may yield more of a wholesome takeaway; I'd certainly recommend seeing it again for clarity regardless of it's slow pace and less than climactic delivery. Binoche is perfect here, a performance testament to her devotion to the craft of acting in defiance of ageism. Moretz is also worth note, a role that, minus the behind-the-camera melodrama that befalls her character, is a fitting mirror to the youthful, ambitious image she has crafted for herself in such a short span of time. However, it is Stewart, who exudes such a naturalism and fidgety authenticity, that really steals the show. This is a performance so devoid of the cloying Hollywood performances she's given as of recent, that it is, frankly, shocking, and it should go down as a highlight of her career. And, hey, the movie she's in is on par to boot.
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3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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7
jeremypMay 10, 2015
It's all about people talking about a play that is being redone and an actress who has to switch her role from predator to victim. If you like metaphors and symbols being dropped galore then you might get into it. For me it's a too long,It's all about people talking about a play that is being redone and an actress who has to switch her role from predator to victim. If you like metaphors and symbols being dropped galore then you might get into it. For me it's a too long, too overdrawn conversation by boring people on a boring subject. When the French use English as their main language the intelligence seems too obvious and the dialog too faux. Actors talking about acting is never as interesting as their performances. I'd rather see a movie about a dialog between a screen writer and a director. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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7
TVJerryMay 4, 2015
Kristen Stewart plays the personal assistant to star Juliette Binoche, whose career was launched at 18, when she was in a play. The play is being revived and she's been cast in the older role. The film is almost exclusively this duo inKristen Stewart plays the personal assistant to star Juliette Binoche, whose career was launched at 18, when she was in a play. The play is being revived and she's been cast in the older role. The film is almost exclusively this duo in general conversation and intellectual discussion about the play, as they travel from a retrospective event in Zurich to a remote house in the Alps (surrounded by gorgeous scenery). With any lesser actors, this could be a tedious bore. With these two, it's always interesting, even though it's still lots of talk. Director Olivier Assayas has tossed in some stylistic surprises and a few story elements that scream "foreign film." Don't expect any big moments. Just settle in for an intimate examination of ageism, fame and relationships. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
fungusgnatJul 28, 2015
This is the third movie I’ve seen from Assayas, following "Irma Vep" (1996), which I hated, and "Summer Hours" (2008), an improvement. "Clouds" is easily, in my estimation, the most accomplished of the three. But then, this film is of aThis is the third movie I’ve seen from Assayas, following "Irma Vep" (1996), which I hated, and "Summer Hours" (2008), an improvement. "Clouds" is easily, in my estimation, the most accomplished of the three. But then, this film is of a type I often like a lot—an intellectual challenge that does not forget that the viewer has a heart as well as a brain. The challenge arises from the fact that so many of the film’s lines are the play’s, being rehearsed by the actress and her assistant in readings that test their own relationship. Assayas uses music, mostly classical, the clouds of the film’s title, and his weighty lines spoken by his talented actresses (particularly Binoche) to create a dream-like film arcing from one revelatory scene to another. Some will find it too talky or esoteric, but I didn’t see these as problems. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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7
LowbrowCinemaApr 13, 2015
A movie trapped in the past about not being trapped in the past, CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA is one more mixed bag of pretension from Olivier Assayas. The ideas are there, the depth, the themes but the execution once again fails. Kristen Stewart,A movie trapped in the past about not being trapped in the past, CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA is one more mixed bag of pretension from Olivier Assayas. The ideas are there, the depth, the themes but the execution once again fails. Kristen Stewart, however, is a revelation! She gets it, breaking through the pretense to explore the depths only imagined by the rest of this film. Her shifts from "reality" to "acting" are quite frankly, awesome and amazing. And exactly what CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA is all about. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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7
amheretojudgeAug 15, 2018
more frizzier than clear..

Clouds Of Sils Maria 3 And A Half Out Of 5 Clouds Of Sils Maria is a character driven dramatic feature that takes place within a short span where an actress is preparing for a character and goes through emotional
more frizzier than clear..

Clouds Of Sils Maria

3 And A Half Out Of 5

Clouds Of Sils Maria is a character driven dramatic feature that takes place within a short span where an actress is preparing for a character and goes through emotional trauma that may be a bit gothic but is poetic too.

The premise itself guides the sense of urgency that is wisely kept alive throughout the course of it where the ticking clock behind the screen might not create the anticipated impact but certainly makes the experience electrifying. Addition to that, it also depicts one of the most unexplored relationship (the actress and her assistant) which gives it a jump start on fresh material and perspective. Assayas' world in here is free from any habitual or satirical restraints; similar to its locations, which in fact is its strength and weakness on its own terms. The writing is adaptive and gripping if not anything out of the box, especially the cards it holds up the sleeve until the last act hits on screen. It is rich on technical aspects like metaphorical cinematography and fine editing whilst is short on background score. The camera work is up close and handled manually which works its way on helping to connect with the characters and stunning visuals and live locations that demands attention. Pragmatic conversation, intriguing concept and poetic tone are the high points of this feature. Binoche is poised, vulnerable and achingly good on her portrayal whilst Stewart is confident and a rigid supporter of hers in each frame. Assayas; the writer-director, may not be in his A game but is surely convincing on his execution and sharp script that cuts deepest in here. Clouds Of Sils Maria is more frizzier than clear due to the amount of time and characters that it consumes to set in a greater scene.
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10
addict-insaneMar 8, 2019
A feminist movie that is NOT full of political pandering, made with real heart and passion. One of my all-time favorites, however, like Ingmar Bergman's Persona, this movie is soul-crushing and I only rewatch it when I'm prepared to take theA feminist movie that is NOT full of political pandering, made with real heart and passion. One of my all-time favorites, however, like Ingmar Bergman's Persona, this movie is soul-crushing and I only rewatch it when I'm prepared to take the emotional blows this lands in my gut. Also, Kristen Stewart actually acts here. Chloe Grace Moretz is fleeting, yet scene-stealing. Like her character is meant to be. I give this a ten, and I don't just throw 10's around. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
LeZeeNov 4, 2016
The actors and their generation difference, evolution of cinema and the beauty of nature.

This is about a middle aged actress who spends in the Swiss Alps with her personal assistant while preparing for the upcoming project. During that
The actors and their generation difference, evolution of cinema and the beauty of nature.

This is about a middle aged actress who spends in the Swiss Alps with her personal assistant while preparing for the upcoming project. During that time, she receives a news that the author of the book which was adapted for the screen 20 years ago where she play a main role and now in its remake, she's doing another part, while a young sensation playing the main part. This is more like the evolution of cinema. The 20 years is too soon for her, while the cinema and its trend advanced rapidly. Precisely to say, the commercial films and young actors taking over the art films and true artists' places respectively.

If you at least 30 years old, you would get this film more than others. Because while I was growing up in the 90s, the cinema was so different. I'm not talking about the technology like computer graphics, but the story and how it was narrated for the screen. Now the science- fiction and dystopian themes taking over with the young audience and social media support. I think it was a quite meaningful film, particularly if you adore films like the recent evolution in cinema was so faster than ever.

The negatives were, the film was too long, slow pace and too simple drama. The positives were, the actors and their performances, the locations, theme and some of the dialogues. Directed by a French filmmaker, this is an international project with a few guest appearances. Most of the film was set in the Alps. Totally different than what I was anticipating, but I still like, except in a few parts where I got bored for its weak development. So this is for the selected audience, that mean it will be appreciated by a very few and I'm kind of neutral with mostly in its favour.

6/10
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
ThomassJun 24, 2017
This is quite a good movie but I felt it was also a missed opportunity. The many excellent themes brought out in the body of the picture are not really concluded well in my opinion. I felt this would have been very difficult to do because soThis is quite a good movie but I felt it was also a missed opportunity. The many excellent themes brought out in the body of the picture are not really concluded well in my opinion. I felt this would have been very difficult to do because so much is there. Excellent performances and I have never seen Kristen Stewart so remarkably good. The movie is really worth seeing just for these performances . I just felt it could have been less artsy and more resolved. So if you can accept a drawback it is definitely worth it. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
netflicApr 20, 2015
This is one of those movies that critics are crazy about but regular audience yawns‎.
Masterfully done and acted, (Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart are starring there, and they are great), the movie is too long, full of cliches and lacks
This is one of those movies that critics are crazy about but regular audience yawns‎.
Masterfully done and acted, (Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart are starring there, and they are great), the movie is too long, full of cliches and lacks novelty. It does have a few interesting ideas and twists but not nearly enough for more than two hours. Nevertheless, in recognition of great performances of both leads and superb cinematography, I am giving this movie a “6”.
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4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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8
beingryanjudeMay 25, 2015
The most unlikely bond between Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart is captivating and beautiful. Binoche proves her gifted presence while Stewart continues to redeem any diminished talent. The parallels within the film are plentiful--theThe most unlikely bond between Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart is captivating and beautiful. Binoche proves her gifted presence while Stewart continues to redeem any diminished talent. The parallels within the film are plentiful--the results are overwhelming. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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10
thesbianMay 26, 2015
Terrible title, but a riveting mirror on the times in which we live... Binoche's mania is magnificent, as always. (Damn, she`s hot.) Watching the film is like watching a news report of a train wreak; you want to avert your eyes, but theTerrible title, but a riveting mirror on the times in which we live... Binoche's mania is magnificent, as always. (Damn, she`s hot.) Watching the film is like watching a news report of a train wreak; you want to avert your eyes, but the curiosity of human nature pulls you in to take a closer look and find out what's really happening. An artistic film with multiple layers of complexity commentary on women and aging in our technology driven media. (See Maggie Gyllenhaal's recent media response). Post-processing the film with my lesbian partner over dinner in West Portal was in some ways more enjoyable than watching the film as the Jungian style story line teases and frustrates. But a film is art and shouldn't always please. Essentially a masterpiece - talented acting, an intricate maze of a story and intense mythic imagery. A classic on par with Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd. See this film now or after award season; eventually you must see this film. All I can say is: More, more, more! Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
Brent_MarchantApr 18, 2015
Despite terrific performances by Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, as well as some gorgeous cinematography, this talky, pretentious, overrated exercise in self-importance never gets off the ground nor sustains its momentum. TossingDespite terrific performances by Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart, as well as some gorgeous cinematography, this talky, pretentious, overrated exercise in self-importance never gets off the ground nor sustains its momentum. Tossing together a collection of pithy insights into a single vehicle and hoping the finished product makes sense is no way to craft a film. Save your time and money. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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4
foxgroveJun 11, 2015
This ‘All About Eve’ wannabe suffers from an excess of talk and is pretentious in the extreme. Lacking ‘Eve’s style, wit and deliciously rendered performances this film irritates more than it entertains. Juliette Binoche plays Maria Enders, aThis ‘All About Eve’ wannabe suffers from an excess of talk and is pretentious in the extreme. Lacking ‘Eve’s style, wit and deliciously rendered performances this film irritates more than it entertains. Juliette Binoche plays Maria Enders, a mature actress who is approached to star in a play that launched her career 20 years earlier. This time she has been asked to interpret the older role of a middle aged business woman, a lesbian who is being manipulated by her young female assistant. In reality, her own assistant played by Kirsten Stewart coaxes her into playing the role. Thus the heart of the film becomes about the two actresses sparring with each other as Binoche tries to come to grips with a role with which she is unable to identify. As these discussions and the subsequent confrontations change their working dynamic the line between the play and reality becomes blurred. As a story outline it all sounds very promising and the actresses, particularly Stewart, give it their best shot. However, they are ultimately let down by the material which disintegrates badly in the mid- section as the two women disagree over aspects of the play and characters. Lovers of pretension will surely run out of superlatives for all the mumbo jumbo spouted. Others, myself included, will merely disengage and lose interest. Surprisingly the film actually rallies a little when Stewart disappears from the scene. This is in not a reflection on her performance, which is probably the best in the film, but it gives a little more mystery and anticipation as to where the drama is going. Unfortunately, a rather ambiguous parting moment is also the final nail in the coffin for a film that never fully gets you on its side. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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8
hotfromcauldronApr 20, 2015
Imagine an actress discovered for playing Eve Harrington given the opportunity to play Margo Channing twenty years later - a thespian’s nightmare or dream? Binoche's perf is a master class as she morphs into the “other” role while revealingImagine an actress discovered for playing Eve Harrington given the opportunity to play Margo Channing twenty years later - a thespian’s nightmare or dream? Binoche's perf is a master class as she morphs into the “other” role while revealing her own character. Art imitates life as line readings blur with conversation. Analysis of script becomes introspective. Stewart surprises as her outspoken assistant especially as she defends today’s “Twilights” and the actors who fearlessly attack their parts. Moretz’ Lohanesque starlet’s personal life is plastered all over the internet in contrast with Binoche’s past indiscretions cloaked in secrecy. Writer/director Assayas - one of France’s finest - cuts away from the expected and lingers on the unexpected. Perhaps a too inside examination of "process" that will leave most audiences out. Lee Strasberg believed acting is the most personal of our crafts. “Clouds” proves it. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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0
valkukMay 3, 2015
As with other films that have relied on the audiences' imagination to move the story forward (Boyhood) where in fact there is none or in this case a missed opportunity, I would like to point to the core problem that the filmmakers are tryingAs with other films that have relied on the audiences' imagination to move the story forward (Boyhood) where in fact there is none or in this case a missed opportunity, I would like to point to the core problem that the filmmakers are trying to conceal. Primarily limited to bad acting in favor of marketability. I am always suspicious of actors when they wear glasses. They are using a prop not to intelligently enhance their chearcter but rather to hide their own deficiencies. I fully understand the intent of the Olivier's script, But boy what a shock it must have been when he realized that Kristin does not have the wherewithall to carry the emotional/psychological weight of her character. Poor Juilette was left stranded on her own with noone to play against. The script was screaming for the supporting actress to carry the story through facial and bodily expressions. Those attempts of outbursts by Kristin were ingenuous and I could see the struggle in the editing room to help cover up her flaws.... And what the hell were those underpants and black bra???? If anyone should have been naked in that scene it was Kristin!!! (a further indicator of how limited her acting education is). I can feel your pain Olivier. Better try next time ... keep away from star **** a little bit and maybe you will have a more satisfying result. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful14
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3
everettJul 26, 2015
I was so disappointed, after the good reviews, and I'm a longtime Binoche fan. The suggestion that when males create female characters' sexual attraction to each other, they're often just "male fantasies," is brought up in the movie (re: theI was so disappointed, after the good reviews, and I'm a longtime Binoche fan. The suggestion that when males create female characters' sexual attraction to each other, they're often just "male fantasies," is brought up in the movie (re: the deceased playwright's play). But I think this a valid criticism of the movie too. Neither of these women, nor their relationship, felt real. I cared about no one in this film. Stilted, on-the-nose dialogue (both in the "play readings" by the women, and in the movie itself) didn't help, and the "play within a play" highlighted this fatal flaw instead of adding the intriguing layer that the filmmaker was going for. And the "Jo-Ann" character was flimsy and cliched. All in all, this film sacrificed depth and credibility to overblown pretentiousness. It's been compared to "All About Eve." No. The people in that movie were real. In this one, only the clouds felt real. So many clouds ... Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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3
TuneisonDec 25, 2017
This movie is absolute garbage. Oliver Assayass. I'd rather Oliver A-DIE-yass than watch another one of his movies. The acting from everyone but Binoce in terrible and, even she has her slip ups at times. The story is uninteresting and, thisThis movie is absolute garbage. Oliver Assayass. I'd rather Oliver A-DIE-yass than watch another one of his movies. The acting from everyone but Binoce in terrible and, even she has her slip ups at times. The story is uninteresting and, this whole project was just a horrible idea. Expand
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8
SpangleMar 29, 2016
Clouds of Sils Maria is a very good film from Olivier Assayas with fantastic acting, a compelling story, and beautiful cinematography. Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Grace Moretz, are all phenomenal here and turn in greatClouds of Sils Maria is a very good film from Olivier Assayas with fantastic acting, a compelling story, and beautiful cinematography. Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Grace Moretz, are all phenomenal here and turn in great performances. Stewart was my personal favorite, though the against type performance from Moretz was really interesting and well done. The story is very dense, but can be boiled down to being about an aging woman having a relationship with a younger woman, after having the shoe be on the other foot when she was younger. Now that she is older, she struggles to grapple with this age and the shoe being on the other foot, due to her own approach to the relationship when she was younger. In this way, the film is a compelling look at aging, both on stage and in life, and at relationships of all kinds. Finally, the cinematography is fantastic. The film has repeated gratuitous shots of landscapes in the Swiss alps and thank God for that because is pure eye candy. The cinematography in non-landscape scenes is also great though and that point cannot be understated. Clouds of Sils Maria is a great little film that really deserves more attention from film lovers due its well-written and well-directed approach to its subjects. Expand
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