Selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at Cannes Film Festival, the new film from director Olivier Assayas, Clouds of Sils Maria, has impressive pedigree. But it is not just these two accolades that recommend it.
Juliette Binoche, Clouds of Sils Maria plot
This new work from the Paris, je t’aime director has an extraordinary performance from one of Assayas’ original stars – the brilliant Juliette Binoche – in what may become a defining role. She plays Maria, a movie star who had her big break in the role of a young assistant who drove her boss to suicide with desire, in a film entitled ‘Maloja Snake’. Now accepting her lifetime achievement award, a young, hotshot director unexpectedly offers her the opportunity to recreate the film, taking the part of the older woman. Life mirrors art as she deals with her own feelings about ageing and desire, simultaneously dealing with past loves and suggestions of affection for her young, beautiful assistant.
Kristen Stewart; Juliette Binoche; Chloe Grace Moritz
In fact, all three female stars in this hazy (and sometimes fantastical) story of love, ageing and longing put on strong performances. Chloe Grace Moretz (Kick Ass, Hick, Say When) once again perfects the role of the sassy ingenue, as she plays the part of a young actress, wise beyond her years, who puts Maria in her place. Kristen Stewart (Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman) finally shakes off her pouty ‘Twilight’ image with a refreshing turn as Valentine, Maria’s headstrong assistant.
Clouds of Sils Maria: film review
The film is conversational, rather than dramatic, with a European sensibility that is rather apt given its Swiss setting. And yet, it is also giddy and disconcerting – and at times completely surreal. The jumps in musical style, alongside the variety of camera shots do not make for easy viewing, but, then again, with performances this good, who's to say it needs to be easy?
For those looking for an innovative, philosophical piece of cinema with fantastic performances – this is one not to be missed.
UK release date: Clouds of Sils Maria
Clouds of Sils Maria release date: 15 May 2015.
Clouds of Sils Maria: London Cinema Listings
Where to watch Clouds of Sils Maria in West London: The Ciné Lumière
The French Institute is a creative hub that hosts the best in French cinema in London as well as some hit blockbusters.
Click here for other suggestions of what’s on at the Ciné Lumière this weekend.
Where to watch Clouds of Sils Maria in Central London: Curzon Victoria
Surreptitiously housed in this minimalist, glass-fronted building, the new Curzon Victoria looks more like a private member’s bar than a cinema. Stylishly lit, with spacious seats housed in intimate, comfortable screening rooms, it's a gem that's still relatively unknown.
Click here for other suggestions of what’s on at the Curzon Victoria this weekend.
Where to watch Clouds of Sils Maria in North London: The Phoenix
One of Britain’s oldest continuously operating, purpose-built cinemas, the Phoenix is a beloved feature of North London life. Visitors can watch foreign, independent films and live ballet screenings in a splendid art deco theatre, complete with a stunning vaulted ceiling.
Click here for other suggestions of what’s on at the Phoenix this weekend.
Where to watch Clouds of Sils Maria in East London: Barbican
The Barbican’s brutalist architecture may divide opinion, but its cinema – which often hosts film festivals and plays old classics – is definitely worth a visit. There is also a generous range of discounts for 16-25s: click here to find out more.
Click here for other suggestions of what’s on at the Barbican this weekend.
|What||Clouds of Sils Maria|
|Where||Bertha Dochouse, The Brunswick, London, WC1N 1AW | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Russell Square (underground)|
On 06 May 15, Q&A with director Olivier Assayas at Curzon Bloomsbury following 6pm screening.
15 May 15 – 31 Jul 15, 12:00 PM – 12:00 AM
|Website||Click here to book via the Curzon Bloomsbury website|