I still prefer it to incredibly loud two-hour toy commercials, but I find the experience of watching pretentious would-be prestige dramas like Clouds of Sils Maria nearly as much of an endurance test.
Here is a film that isn’t nearly as smart as it would like us to think. Banal inscrutability gets substituted for profundity. The main characters — aging actress Maria (Juliette Binoche) and her personal assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) — spend their days in a privileged world of luxury hotels, glamorous parties, and alpine chateaus, talking mostly about theater, film, visual art, and critiques of Internet culture. All of this lends a patina of sophistication meant to mask the painful boredom of listening to these women drone on repetitively about such insightful topics as “geez, realizing you’re getting older kinda sucks.”Full Story