Treasure, Buried

03-movie-review-clouds-of-sils-maria.w529.h352.2xI have no idea why Clouds of Sils Maria is opening now instead of last Christmas. It’s fantastic, and should have been competing for Oscars and stuff while the iron was hot. Instead, its North American distributors left it on a shelf to roll out now, as counterprogramming to Furious Seven and the latest Nicholas Sparks thingie. Whatevs, as the kids say; at least you can finally catch up to it if you missed it at TIFF, right?

Other movies are opening as well. They are not as good.

Clouds of Sils Maria: Olivier Assayas’ latest casts Juliette Binoche and Kristen Stewart as a fading movie star and her harried assistant — and then springboards that relationship into a glorious study of identity and power dynamics. And if that doesn’t hook you, Chloe Grace Moretz turns up as Katniss Everdeen, or something.

Cut Bank: A bunch of small-town jerks screw each other over for a fortune in Matt Shakman’s low-rent thriller, which is just a riff on ideas Joel and Ethan Coen really should have copyrighted by now.

Danny Collins: Crazy Stupid Love screenwriter Dan Fogelman makes his directorial debut with this road picture about an aging rock star (Al Pacino, somehow) on a journey of discovery. Glenn says it’s worth seeing for the cast, which also includes Bobby Cannavale, Annette Bening and Christopher Plummer.

The Longest Ride: I don’t do Nicholas Sparks movies, so Rad had to. Poor Rad.

Relative Happiness: A good idea and a strong lead performance have nowhere to go in Deanne Foley’s East Coast comedy about a B&B owner (Melissa Bergland) trying to keep herself grounded in the weeks before her sister’s wedding.

Road Hard: Adam Carolla turns his midlife crisis into a movie about an aging comic whose career dries up unexpectedly. Glenn thinks he nearly pulls it off.

The Salt of the Earth: Photographer and activist Sebastiao Salgado is appropriately honoured in this Oscar-nominated documentary, co-directed by Wim Wenders and the subject’s son Juliano. It’s good.

The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet: Jean-Pierre Jeunet applies his gift for manic whimsy as insistently as possible to this adaptation of Reif Larsen’s children’s book. Hey, at least Rick Mercer gets an IMDb credit out of it.

See? Now go buy a ticket for Clouds of Sils Maria.

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