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Top 200 Most Anticipated Films for 2014: #6. Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria

Clouds of Sils Maria

Director: Olivier Assayas
Writer: Olivier Assayas
Producers: Karl Baumgartner, Charles Gillibert, Thanassis Karathanos, Jean-Louis Porchet, Gérard Ruey
U.S. Distributor: IFC Films
Cast: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloë Grace Moretz, Johnny Flynn, Lars Eidinger, Hanns Zischler, Brady Corbet

We’re among the clan that think that 2008’s Summer Hours turned out to be a seminal film for Olivier Assayas and it’s a reteaming with the illustrious Juliette Binoche, who in this second time out, basically challenged her fellow Parisian to write, and then direct, a female character study that truthfully might be her most chiseled part in ages. An estrogen-filled, possibly Bergmanesque project on paper, we get the hunch that this not only deals with ageism and a certain level-minded jealousy of youth, but it’s a punk rock interpretation of an actresses’ shelf-life.

Gist: At the peak of her international career, Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years ago. But back then she played the role of Sigrid, an alluring young girl who disarms and eventually drives her boss Helena to suicide. Now she is being asked to step into the other role, that of the older Helena. She departs with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) to rehearse in Sils Maria; a remote region of the Alps. A young Hollywood starlet with a penchant for scandal (Chloë Grace Moretz) is to take on the role of Sigrid, and Maria finds herself on the other side of the mirror, face to face with an ambiguously charming woman who is, in essence, an unsettling reflection of herself.

Release Date: Filming took place last August, and seeing that Assayas and Binoche are synonymous with the Cannes Film Festival, there is not doubt that Thierry Frémaux has been eyeing this as a Main Comp title. IFC Films will likely bring this over to TIFF and/or NYFF in the fall.

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist and critic at (founded in 2000). Eric is a regular at Sundance, Cannes and TIFF. He has a BFA in Film Studies at the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013 he served as a Narrative Competition Jury Member at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson's This Teacher (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022 he served as a New Flesh Comp for Best First Feature at the 2022 Fantasia Intl. Film Festival. Current top films for 2022 include Tár (Todd Field), All That Breathes (Shaunak Sen), Aftersun (Charlotte Wells).

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