It has been nearly a year since Clouds of Sils Maria premiered at Cannes, but the film is only just now coming to theaters in the U.S. Directed by Olivier Assayas, it tells the story of cyclical obsession and potential betrayal between an older actress, her personal assistant, and a young ingenue.
The film features Juliette Binoche as Maria Enders, whose personal assistant (Kristen Stewart) convinces her to take on the role of an older woman who becomes obsessed with a much younger woman, eventually leading to violence and suicide. But things are even more complicated: Maria owes her entire career to having appeared in the same play when she was eighteen, playing the younger woman. Taking the role against her better instincts, she begins to rehearse opposite Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz). Predictably, Maria is swept up in a new cycle of personality exchange and increasing obsession as certain things are revealed about her hidden desires.
The latest trailer for Clouds of Sils Maria sets out the plot in pretty clear terms – almost too clear, for those of us who did not get to see the film at Cannes. Much is revealed that might be better left unsaid in a trailer. At the same time, there’s no doubt that we are looking at some powerhouse performances from a trio of gifted actresses. Binoche and Moretz are always fascinating to watch, but this film might be the one to convince me that Kristen Stewart is a better actress than Twilight ever allowed her to be. At least, we hope so.
Clouds of Sils Maria received generally positive reviews at its Cannes premiere, so hopefully it will not disappoint American audiences when it comes to theaters stateside on April 10.