Tim here. It's a good weekend to be Kristen Stewart: today is the actress's 25th birthday, and tomorrow begins the limited U.S. release of Clouds of Sils Maria, which has won her the best reviews of her 15-year career. It's the natural endpoint of a very good 12 months for Stewart, which saw the premiere of three movies (Camp X-Ray, Sils Maria, Still Alice) that found her proving herself to all the hostile critics that were ready to write off her entire career as an asterisk following her starring role in the Twilight movies.
Having been one of those critics – part of the fun of The Twilight Saga while it was ongoing was having an annual opportunity to trot out my list of synonyms for "catatonic" in describing Stewart's performances – I am happy to have been thus defeated. What she's doing in Sils Maria isn't just giving a solid performance and holding her own with a modestly complex part and proving that there's more to her than just gaping blandly at a sexy shiny vampire and a sexy jailbait werewolf. We just saw Stewart do that in Still Alice, where she did a fine job of keeping one corner of the movie nailed down as it hunted for anything interesting besides Julianne Moore's performance.
No, Stewart's performance in Sils Maria is an out-and-out revelation, the kind you tell your grandkids about. She's not just "fine" or "solid", she's the best thing in the movie – she steals the movie right out from Juliette Binoche, and that's simply Not Done.