DENNIS SCHWARTZ Movie Reviews

CLOUDS OF SILS MORIA (director/writer: Olivier Assayas; screenwriter: ; cinematographer: Yorick Le Saux; editor:  Marion Monnier; cast:  Juliette Binoche (Maria Enders), Kristen Stewart (Valentine), Chloë Grace Moretz (Jo-Ann Ellis), Lars Eidinger (Klaus Diesterweg), Johnny Flynn (Christopher Giles),  Brady Corbet (Piers Roaldson), Hanns Zischler (Henryk Wald), Angela Winkler (Rosa Melchior), Luise Berndt (Nelly, Urs' assistant ), Ben Posener (Journalist in London), Sean McDonagh (London Theatre Assistant), Nora von Waldstatten (Actress in Sci-fi Movie), Aljoscha Stadelmann (Urs Kobler); Runtime: 124; MPAA Rating: R; producer: Charles Gillibert; IFC Films/CG Films; 2014-France/USA)

"As if Ingmar Bergman were directing All About Eve."

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

French director Olivier Assayas ("Carlos"/"Noise") is writer-director of this enticing intellectual sexual psychodrama about an actress playing an actress. It's as if Ingmar Bergman were directing All About Eve.

International movie star
Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is in Zurich when asked by the arty young European director, Klaus Diesterweg (Lars Eidinger), to perform in a revival of a play she  got her start in when 18, some 20 years ago. At the time she played the part of the zesty young lady named Sigrid who gets under hos boss Helena's skin and drives her to suicide. This time she's asked to play the older Helena. After accepting but with some trepidation, she travels with her outspoken perceptive young American assistant Val (Kristen Stewart) to rehearse in the isolated Swiss Alp region in Sils Maria. Her old part is given to a scandal-ridden, self-destructive, but talented American actress, Jo-Ann Ellis  (Chloë Grace Moretz). Jo-Anne rebels against the emptiness of Hollywood after appearing in a vapid sci-fi film and is looking forward to this serious work. The story turns on the assured new actress being a disturbing reflection on the vulnerable Maria, who is mindful in the play Sigrid's erotic advances drove Helena crazy.

It's sophisticated, acerbic and witty. The sparkling performances by Moretz, Binoche and Stewart give us an insightful insider's look at the theater, the art of acting and on  smoldering relationships.

REVIEWED ON 10/27/2016       GRADE: B+

Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"

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