Clouds of Sils Maria. Where can I begin? When I walked out of Clouds of Sils Maria last night my head was spinning. I am not sure what this film is trying to say. I am not sure why this film exists. It is just over two hours but feels like three. It is constructed in a way where multiple viewings are not suggested but might be required. I do not know much about Clouds of Sils Maria. And yet I have so much to say about it. First: It is the best film of the year.
It’s always interesting to see a movie that has a “front-runner” status; when you head to the theater because the movie or someone in it seems destined to win an Oscar. All your attention seems to be focused on that one aspect of the film. Some movies are brilliant enough on their own that you start to forget about the reason you went to see it and begin to be blown away (Whiplash, for example). Others are less engaging and the only thing holding you to the film is said performance (The Blind Side). Still Alice is an interesting film in that it does not fall into either category. It comes with the prestige of getting its star Julianne Moore her first Academy Award, but the film isn’t great enough to stand alongside her performance nor is it weak enough to solely rely on it. There is something missing in Still Alice. It features a duh-incredible performance from Ms. Moore, its deals with a heartbreaking subject with wonderful sensitivity, and sheds light on a terrible disease. But watching the film you can’t help but feel the flaws and they can’t help but hurt it.