This film is unusual in that it has two outstanding performances by women in the leading roles. Several critics think that, good though Juliette Binoche is, she is outshone by Kristen Stewart (better known to younger viewers for her participation in Twilight, the vampire series).
Maria Enders (Juliette Binoche) is an actress at the peak of her international career who is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years earlier. Back then she played the role of Sigrid, an alluring young woman who disarms and eventually drives her boss Helena to suicide. Now she is being asked to step into the other role, that of the older Helena. She departs with her assistant (Kristen Stewart) to rehearse in Sils Maria, a remote region of the Alps. A young Hollywood starlet with a penchant for scandal (Chloë Grace Moretz) is to take on the role of Sigrid, and Maria finds herself on the other side of the mirror, face to face with an ambiguously charming woman who is, in essence, an unsettling reflection of herself.
It is a fascinating, credible look behind the curtain of a starry life but is also about acting itself, the difference between classic and modern styles, between intuition and technique, and about how age can infuse approaches to creativity.
The film was nominated for the Palme D’Or at the 2014 Cannes Festival and won the Prix Louis Delluc for Best Film.
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Venue: William Loveless Hall