Not much silver lining

AN aging actress faces myriad emotions when she is faced with working alongside one of Hollywood�s hottest young actresses in Clouds of Sils Maria.

Legendary actress Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is presented with the opportunity to appear in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years ago.

This time, instead of playing the young manipulative beauty, she will take on the role of the middle-aged, emotionally manipulated older woman.

Despite constant encouragement from her assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) that it is a great role, Maria is unconvinced, struggling with her waning enthusiasm for the piece now that she has to look at it from a new perspective.

Her co-star in the revival is the Lindsay Lohan-type Hollywood wild child Jo-Ann Ellis (Chlo� Grace Moretz), whose tabloid antics often overshadow her work.

There are plenty of fascinating themes swirling around in this leisurely paced drama � age and beauty juxtaposed, how we change as we grow, how our perspective on art can change over time � that this has the makings for a riveting experience, but alas it remains dull throughout.

Repetitive scenes in which Maria and Valentine rehearse, analyse and re-analyse the play, with Maria struggling to identify with her new character, become tiresome.

In moments that are a little too meta for their own good, Valentine endlessly praises Jo-Ann�s body of work, even defending her performance in a cheesy blockbuster film which is released ahead of this �serious� production she is attached to

There is stunning scenery to look at when the chit-chat gets a bit too much, but these postcard moments are hardly enough to keep the audience interested for two hours.

Clouds of Sils Maria (MA)

Directed by: Olivier Assayas

Starring: Juliette Binoche, Kristen Stewart, Chlo� Grace Moretz

Two and a half stars

Review by: Julian Wright

In cinemas May 7