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Clouds of Sils Maria Is Too in Love With the Sound of Its Own Voice

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.”

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This Little Boy Needs to Lay Off the Sugar

Can the power of faith and compassion outweigh physical strength or statistical probability? That’s the fundamental question at the heart of Little Boy, an earnest coming-of-age drama so cloying and manipulative that it simply can’t be taken seriously. With its transparent spiritual undertones, the film feels like a feature-length sermon preaching lessons of self-esteem and […]

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