Clouds of Sils Maria 2014

Critics score:
89 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Wesley Morris, Grantland: The movie, which Olivier Assayas wrote and directed, is a world of wonders, most of them cerebrally twisty and emotionally hallucinogenic. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: A backstage drama that has all the sizzle of a glass of water resting on the windowsill, Olivier Assayas' "Clouds of Sils Maria" mistakes lack of dramatic imagination for smoldering subtlety. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The movie moves as slowly as the oncoming fog, but Juliette Binoche is always a pleasure to watch ... Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: A multi-layered, femme-driven meta-fiction that pushes all involved - including next-gen starlets Kristen Stewart and Chloe Grace Moretz - to new heights. Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: Binoche and Stewart inhabit their characters' complicated friendship, whether they're doing the nuts-and-bolts, behind-the-scenes business of managing a career or getting drunk at a small casino. Read more

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: It's winding, and it sure takes time and patience, and it's not all that clearly marked. But by the end, you're left with quite a view. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: A meditation on fame, acting, aging, and acceptance, "Clouds" is a multilayered rapture on the subject of woman, performing. Not only does the film demand repeat viewings, it rewards them. Read more

Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader: This recalls Ingmar Bergman's chamber dramas in the intensity and psychological complexity of the central relationship, yet the filmmaking is breathtakingly fluid, evoking a sense of romantic abandon. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: The film glides and snakes along its path, a path we have trod before in so many other films and plays. But often it's not where you go but how you go that matters. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Assayas knows how to create an embracing sense of intimacy among his players, and this shows itself to best advantage in the many scenes between Maria and Val. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: It meditates long and hard on questions of age, sincerity, celebrity and love, piling irony on irony. And it features a remarkably natural performance by Kristen Stewart that's so unastounding it's astounding. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: A haunting look at the anxieties of a profession where blurring the line between fantasy and reality is both part of the job description and a vocational hazard. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Clouds of Sils Maria is fiendishly wise to the ways of show business, particularly the boxes in which it places women. But the film offers more than that. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: An engaging, if rarefied inside look at the private world of a star. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: As stirring as Binoche is as Maria, Stewart is breathtaking as Valentine. Assayas uses the issues he parses in "Sils" to zero in on a personal-professional minefield that Stewart has navigated as well. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Astounding performances by Binoche and Stewart, in a film that keeps the viewer constantly off-balance. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: One of the film's delights-it is more than a mere in-joke-arises from seeing Kristen Stewart inspecting her own predicament, as it were, from the outside. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: Like the Alps it's set in, "Clouds of Sils Maria" just goes on and on. Except in its case, there are more valleys than peaks. Read more

Tomas Hachard, NPR: A work of many moving parts, one to take apart and put back together again repeatedly. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: This is the film that fulfills whatever promise Kristen Stewart has shown for more than a decade. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: The three women in "Clouds of Sils Maria" love, talk and move, move, move, sharing lives, trading roles and performing parts. The lives they lead are messy and indeterminate, but each woman's life belongs to her. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Hugely affecting - and reflective and witty ... Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: In the end, there's a sense that director Olivier Assayas is more concerned about making a point than telling a story. Read more

Richard Roeper, Chicago Sun-Times: Stewart's blazing, blunt, pitch-perfect performance in this film serves as a reminder she's actually one of the best actresses of her generation. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Don't get hung up on metaphors. Enjoy the virtuoso acting of Binoche and Stewart, and the strange and beautiful artwork Assayas has made of them pinballing around the notion of what it means to be a woman under a microscope. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Binoche, on whom the camera affectionately lingers, makes herself achingly vulnerable. Though the film feels at times a bit cloudy and enigmatic, it's often fascinating in its juxtapositions. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: Stewart's relaxation in front of the camera is something to marvel at. She is always present in the moment and seems unable to fake a scene. Read more

Erik McClanahan, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It's slight and enjoyable, but falters a bit as it strains for profundity. Read more

Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Brilliant performances aside, "Clouds of Sils Maria" is overlong and much too self-indulgently an "art film." It might have benefited from being just a bit more grounded. Read more

Jon Frosch, The Atlantic: A playful and captivating hybrid of Ingmar Bergman's Persona, Joseph Mankiewicz's All About Eve, and quintessentially Assayas-esque meta-mischief. Read more

Adam Nayman, Globe and Mail: Olivier Assayas always makes heady, clever films, and Clouds of Sils Maria is no exception. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: It's about all women, and the conflicting dual roles they are expected to play in life, more so than men: nurturer/fighter, mother/lover, submissive/dominant and so on. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Few contemporary filmmakers can touch Assayas as a storyteller - even his most enigmatic moments here will inspire lively post-screening conversations - or as a director of actors. Read more

David Ehrlich, Time Out: A heady psychosexual drama that's steeped in dense anxieties and rich European glamour (the film was partially funded by Chanel), Olivier Assayas's latest finds the French auteur at the very top of his game. Read more

Jim Slotek, Toronto Sun: It's a story about an aging actress' angst-filled full-circle self-realization, one that doubles as a dissection of globe-consuming pop culture even though it's mostly set in an isolated locale high up in the Alps. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: As you're watching, Clouds of Sils Maria feels looser and sketchier than most of Assayas's other movies; only afterward do you look back and realize how many intricate layers he's packed into it. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: A film of countless earthly pleasures, chief among them the faces of three very different but fascinating actresses: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, and Chloe Grace Moretz. Read more

Stephanie Merry, Washington Post: In addition to the tremendous acting, Assayas's direction has a novel feel, with clever fade-outs reminiscent of theater, which happen just when some bit of action is about to take place. But there are also some curious decisions. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: "Clouds Of Sils Maria" swirls with provocative ideas, but they're talked about more than dramatized ... Read more