Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cloud Atlas

The moment I saw the first Cloud Atlas trailer, I knew I would have to see this film.  I haven't read the David Mitchell novel of the same name, but I've heard a lot about it and have it on my to-read list.  The interwoven narratives that span time and place attracted me, as did the film's look.  When I learned that Andy and Lana Wachowski were in charge of half the film, I understood why so many of the shots were so gorgeous.  I knew I would go.

I wasn't at all sure, though, whether I'd walk out of the theater happy.  My nervousness grew when I learned the film ran just eight minutes short of three hours; Wachowskis can be self-indulgent. 

I'm happy to report that my fears were for nought; I loved it.  I was never bored, never squirmed in my seat, and despite drinking a rather large Coke Zero in the course of it, never left for the bathroom.  I wouldn't have cut any of it.  More, if they were to issue a four-hour Director's Cut, I'd preorder it. 

That said, if you're not comfortable with six different stories that jump around in place and time, or if you have trouble following disjointed narratives, this movie is not for you.  I loved all of the narrative devices.  Each story alone engaged me, and unlike some critics, I felt the endings of each brought them all together nicely. 

I particularly enjoyed all the main actors playing multiple roles, though there were times when the prosthetics necessary to turn some of the actors into Asians were too obvious and, in a few moments, wince-worthy.  Tom Hanks and Halle Berry delivered the goods in all of their different characters.  Jim Broadbent was wild-eyed and charming throughout--even when he was an unlikable ship's captain.  Hugo Weaving took every opportunity to chew the scenery--which is, I have to assume, exactly why they hired him. 

I do have some minor criticisms, but they'd also act as spoilers, so I'll withhold them.  Cloud Atlas may not wind up being the very best movie of the year, but even this far in advance of the Christmas Oscar-contender releases I'm going to guess that it will belong in any good Top 5 list. 

Don't miss this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like one of those movies that you really need the theater experience to enjoy ( both for the special affects but even more so for the fully engrossing),sadly I am guessing since it doesn't really target any audience groups that most people will wait for it to come out on blue-ray. Of course that statement is really just me self projecting :)



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