Christian Cortave’s review published on Letterboxd:
Irma Vep (1996) is my favorite film from Olivier Assayas. Watched it 2 years ago, really enjoyed it & eventually bought the Criterion when it came out! When it was first announced that HBO was adapting this into a miniseries, was very intrigued but nervous because I wasn’t sure how this was going to work. Especially given how much of a fan I was regarding the original film.
After finishing Irma Vep (2022), I’m happy to report that this surprised the hell out of me and enjoyed watching for the last 8 weeks. At some points, the miniseries came close to topping the film but for now, I’ll give the edge to the latter. Alicia Vikander was amazing as Mira, this was her best performance in years, maybe her overall best and hopefully this could start a resurgence since she really hasn’t done much post her Oscar win. Vincent Macaigne & Adira Arjona were also top notch and I also loved how this was self-aware at times with numerous callbacks to the original film and the production of The Vampires, where Mira’s involved.
As for the Kristen Stewart cameo, I just know my two good friends of mine Dan and Jac were hyped out of their minds when she showed up. Can only imagine how they felt having to wait until the finale to see her and I kinda relate because I also love her but not on the level as them. Her brief scene was cool and my only hope is that K-Stew gets to work with Assayas again, preferably a film because he always gets the best out of her. Go watch Personal Shopper and Clouds of Sils Maria, two very good films where you get masterclass performances from Stewart. There’s a reason why she became the first American actress to win the César for the latter.
Overall, I’m so happy that this Irma Vep ended up proving me wrong. As per usual with Assayas, this might not work for some but it sure did for me. I’d highly recommend watching both the film and miniseries, I think it’s worth your time