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Aging and cinema are among the complex weave of themes preoccupying writer-director Olivier Assayas in his latest film, "Clouds of Sils Maria".French actress (and BIFF jury chief) Julie Gayet introduced the movie with a script (its English subtitles were projected on the screen behind her) that seemed as unexpected to her as it was her audience.As you might expect from a movie about thespians, "Sils Maria" is a very actorly film with both the principal leads turning in finely nuanced performances.Both Binoche and Stewart's characters are equally complex – as much a credit to their own skills as it is the filmmaker's writing. In its concern with aging, actors and other things theatrical, "Sils Maria" is reminiscent of the amusingly titled 2012 drama "Vous N'Avez Encore Rien Vu" (You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet). In this star-studded work of Gallic cinema, Alain Resnais led a weighty ensemble cast through a multigenerational reading of a stage adaptation of the Eurydice myth, with the actors' own dramas slopping over into their multiple depictions of the characters. Compared to Resnais' magisterial film, Assayas' work is pared down to a razor's edge.
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