Juliette Binoche in Clouds of Sils Maria

IFC Films

Hollywood is a fickle business, and it’s no secret that it’s at its most treacherous when you’re attempting to navigate its murky waters as an aging actress, especially one who used to be a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed young starlet. Roles that were once piling at your feet faster than you could say “is it really necessary for my character to wear this crop top?” are — not suddenly, but gradually enough to not notice their slide — drifting away and being handed to the next new cute thing. Even if  you’re still respected and revered and praised, you’re not going to be called an ingénue anytime soon. The tides have changed.

With the new international trailer for Clouds of Sils Maria, Juliette Binoche is figuring this out all too well for herself when Chloe Moretz storms into her life. Binoche is Maria Enders, an actress who found great fame as a young woman playing Sigird in a play called “MalojaSnake.” Twenty years later, when the playwright who gave her this starmaking role dies, she’s compelled, albeit hesitantly, to join a new production of the play — this time playing the role of the emotionally fragile older woman. Jo-Ann Ellis (Moretz), Hollywood’s heavy-partying It Girl takes on her former role and challenges her as an actress and apparently her sanity as well.

The film, directed and written by Olivier Assayas, presents a trailer where Maria the international actress is a bonafide star — dazzling at soirées, fielding industry calls left and right and depending on her trusty assistant Valentine (Kristen Stewart) to keep everything in her fabulous life straight. And then there’s Maria the person, who crops her hair short (the media’s sign of a woman in crisis), traipses through the foggy mountains of Sils Maria with her assistant and only real friend in the world (and over whom she ponders some confusing feelings), and obsesses over the new competition creeping into her life. There’s no real sign that this is going to turn into a Black Swan situation between Maria and Jo-Ann, but if anyone asks to take anyone out for a drink to loosen up before the performance, let’s hope the play doesn’t have to be “perfect.”

Side note: is there a stipulation in Chloe Moretz’s contracts that says she must wear an array of sassy, multicolored wigs in every movie in which she appears? Someone should get her a deal for her own line.

Check out the trailer below:

Clouds of Sils Maria is in theaters December 1st.

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