Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chloe Grace Moretz
Directed By: Olivier Assayas
An interesting, quiet meditation on what it means to be an aging actress currently in the business. Juliette Binoche plays an actress faced with being asked to reprise a stage role she originated 20 years ago. This time, she’s playing the older female counterpart, and a hot young actress (Moretz) is playing her original role. Binoche spends most of the time interacting with her assistant (Stewart), lamenting the project, and running lines. She’s clearly affected by how much she’s changed in the last 20 years, and how she’s evolved into the character she’s now playing.
You might have heard of this film. It’s previously titled “The Film Where Kristen Stewart Acts Her Face Off”. It’s not a particularly showy role. It’s quiet and often introspective, but it’s just surprising to see Kristen Stewart handling the role so well. The only problem is that she’s opposite Juliette Binoche, who is still a better actress. Don’t get me wrong, Kristen Stewart gets mad props for her acting. She plays back and forth with Binoche, and really compliments her well. But this is the question of a Lion vs Bobcat. The Bobcat can be a dangerous animal in its own right, but it is dwarfed against the lion. Here, I feel that Stewart, as impressive as she is, still can’t hold a candle to Binoche.
Hopefully Binoche will be remembered at the end of the year for her role in this. I know it’s a small film, and not many people saw it, and the year is still young. However, I would argue that her performance is the best of the year so far, and if anyone deserves to make it to the Golden promised land, it’s Binoche.
The film sometimes gets a little too “talky”, a little too “meditative”, and is probably five minutes too long for its own good. Just slight pacing issues. Sometimes they talk so long back and forth you really forget how the scene started, or what the scene is even really about.
If you enjoy quiet films that take more of an introspective approach, then you’ll enjoy this. If you like good acting, or just want to see Kristen Stewart slay something, see this. Or, really, just see it because Juliette Binoche is amazing.
FINAL GRADE: A-