The title I chose for this discussion prompt is from a well-known Fleetwood Mac song, “Landslide,” a song from which I pulled the title of my actual detailed review of an intriguing film, Clouds of Sils Maria (also appropriate because of the Alps setting of the story) starring renowned French actor (despite the objections of many of my critical colleagues who find me too PC—not sure why, I use a Mac computer—I still prefer to use the generic term “actor” to refer to both men and women—except in the context of awards categories where it requires too much clarification—as I find “actress” to be diminutive to the seemingly-standard implications of the male reference to “actor” and I don’t wish to imply that female performers [another semantic choice, I suppose, but this is a much larger category that includes musicians, dancers, stand-up comedians, circus folk, etc. so it’s potentially more confusing] are in any way secondary to males, despite the general wealth of better film roles usually available for the men) Juliette Binoche and proving-her-skills-better-all-the-time American Kristen Stewart. Binoche plays a middle-aged thespian (OK, another more inclusive option but a little snooty for regular use) who’s asked to return to the play that made her famous as a young woman, only now she’s being sought after to play the older of the protagonist pair (although one turns to antagonist when you get more details—purposefully kept from you here but available in the review noted above if you’re ready for spoilers) which puts her into an existential quandary as she both loathes the older character and doesn’t care to have herself identified with an aging person (implied by my choice of above stills from the film, with the one on the left from the beginning of the narrative when she and her personal assistant are off to Switzerland—home of the climate phenomenon that provides the film’s title; again, please check out the review for more details—to honor the playwright/director who launched her career but she’s sporting a press-friendly wig that we don’t see later in the story when she’s on her own, debating with herself—and her assistant—about taking the dreaded older-woman role). The acting is superb all around here, just as the scenery is gorgeous and the film’s concepts are well worth your contemplation. This is clearly an art-house experience, but if you care for that sort of film and can find it I think you’d appreciate your efforts.
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