Acclaimed French actress Maria Enders (Binoche) agrees to appear in a revival of the play that launched her career many years earlier. This time out, she is no longer the ingénue in the piece; that role will be played by a Hollywood starlet (Moretz). Maria departs for Switzerland with her American assistant Valentine (Stewart) to run lines and prepare. A dance of intimacy takes place between the two women, as Maria struggles with her past and future identity.
French director Assayas has crafted a witty, perceptive, and piercing film about fame, memory and the struggles attendant with aging for a successful actress approaching fifty. Binoche, as the flinty Maria, is fearless in revealing her vulnerabilities and fears, while Stewart is superb as the centered, watchful Valentine. She became the first American actress to win a César award for her restrained performance in this penetrating drama of life intersecting with art.