At the peak of her international career, Maria Enders is asked to perform in a revival of the play that made her famous twenty years ago. But back then she played the role of Sigrid, an alluring young girl 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 to rehearse in Sils Maria; a remote region of the Alps. A young Hollywood starlet with a penchant for scandal 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. Written by
Cannes Film Festival
Kristen Stewart was offered the role of Valentine and wanted to accept, but a misunderstanding with her agent led to another actress (Wasikowska) being cast. Stewart reached out to rectify what happened and was offered the role of Jo-Ann Ellis, but was unsure. Wasikowska later dropped out and Stewart was officially cast as Valentine. See more »
In the opening, the characters are riding in what is clearly a second-class rail car. This would be completely out of character, given what we see later in the movie. See more »
Sigrid is - free, beyond everything, and, most of all, she's destructive, unpredictable. And, right or wrong, I've always identified with that freedom. It's a way of, ah, protecting myself.
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During the closing credits, four of the actors are shown under the heading "guest appearance by". See more »
07-16-2015 -- I'm generally willing to watch Juliette Binoche in just about anything. (She was brilliant in "Trois couleurs: Bleu" as well as "The English Patient.")
But this, despite being a film, is a very wordy play ... and then a play within that play ... and possibly another play within that play ... it got to the point where this was clearly an actors' exercise, for the benefit of actors, the audience be damned.
It's a lot to ask of film audiences to simply bear witness to angsting actors and actresses, playing roles within roles.
The settings and backdrops are dramatic and enticing. But the story continually falls back to the inner angst of an aging actress along with that of her personal assistant -- both her "real" personal assistant and the one in the play within the play.
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