A veteran actress comes face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself when she agrees to take part in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years earlier. (IMDb)
This is an absolutely fascinating movie. It’s well written, well acted, overall just really well done. The trio of ladies at the helm of this all give fantastic performances. Juliette Binoche takes this movie by the reins and doesn’t let go. Maria (her character) is facing an uncertain point in her career. She’s getting older, movies are changing, the man who helped launch her career passes away, and now she takes on the older character in the play that made her famous. She’s faced with a lot, and Maria hides behind the text of the play instead of really confronting her fears. She blames the play and says she can’t connect to the character when really she doesn’t want to. And Binoche lets us see all of that. Kristen Stewart as her personal assistant makes an excellent scene partner for Binoche. The scenes where the two of them are running lines form the play are fascinating to watch. The line between them running lines and talking normally blurs constantly. Stewart’s Val constantly tries to push Maria into seeing new ways of looking at not only the acting world, but the world in general. Throw in Chloe Grace Moretz as the young superstar that’s going to be playing Maria’s old part, and we have ourselves a movie. It meanders a long a little bit, but the conversations are almost too fascinating to care. I really enjoyed this, and I think not only is it a great movie for theatre people to watch, but also in general as a really interesting character study.