Kristen Stewart Truly Wows in Clouds of Sils Maria

Critics agree: She deserved that French Cesar
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 10, 2015 12:27 PM CDT

An established actress rehearses for a role as an older woman, opposite a young starlet, with help from her assistant in Clouds of Sils Maria, starring Juliette Binoche, Chloë Grace Moretz, and Kristen Stewart, respectively. Stewart has already made history with her performance, but what do critics have to say?

  • "As stirring as Binoche is as Maria, Stewart is breathtaking as Valentine," writes Betsy Sharkey at the Los Angeles Times. Brought together by writer-director Olivier Assayas, the pair are "mesmerizing to watch." The film as a whole is a "richly imperfect piece about the vagaries to be found in a life spent working in film" and the ways in which people re-encounter their past selves, Sharkey writes. It has some loose ends, but it's one worth watching.
  • The film touches on "female friendships, female rivalries, tabloid notoriety, the loss of privacy in the Internet age, high culture versus low, and, of course, cinema itself," writes Manohla Dargis at the New York Times. Stewart shines as she "gives herself completely over to her role" and "easily holds both her own and the screen ... delivering the kind of emotionally translucent performance that first got her noticed" in Into the Wild.

  • Clouds of Sils Maria is "a complete, perfectly crafted, fixed object that, upon reflection, remains in perpetual motion," Tomas Hachard writes at NPR. Its "script, performances, cinematography, and pacing" are all outstanding," and as for one of its biggest loose ends, "it's the magic of the best art that it can satisfy while leaving the conflict unresolved," Hachard says. He adds Stewart tops Binoche in what is "arguably the more difficult role."
  • The film is "a multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved—including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz—to new heights," writes Peter Debruge at Variety. "Moretz is fine," but he lauds Stewart as "the most compellingly watchable American actress of her generation." As for the film, it's a "rich and tantalizingly open-ended psychological study."
(More Kristen Stewart stories.)

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