Peeping Tom, Night of the Hunter and a whole host of older films were ignored or given bad reviews upon…
Everything is Connected
A set of six nested stories spanning time between the 19th century and a distant post-apocalyptic future. Cloud Atlas explores how the actions and consequences of individual lives impact one another throughout the past, the present and the future. Action, mystery and romance weave through the story as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero and a single act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution in the distant future. Based on the award winning novel by David Mitchell. Directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowskis.
"What is an ocean, but a multitude of drops?" - Adam Ewing
I think the only sensible way to review this film is by each of it's inter-twining stories. In chronological order, of course:
Time and setting: South Pacific Ocean, 1849
Genre: Sea-faring adventure/period drama
Protagonist: Adam Ewing (Jim Sturgess)
Well, I suppose a good place to start is the worst place to start, because things can only get better. Although the events of this section are meant to be small and cramped to show the gravity of the events that are to follow, this doesn't seem to gel with the rest of the story. The other stories have a bigger scope, while nothing much happens in this…
Having read the book only after seeing the trailer a few months ago, I was never in the camp that thought the book should/could never be turned into a film. I read the book with an almost insurmountable amount of hype behind it, but it met those expectations handily. The film has been hyped even more than the book, with good reason! The book is epic and dramatic, spanning vast amounts of time and space. Even though it has one of the most interesting and impressive narrative structures of all time, the narrative is secondary in importance to the themes holding the disparate characters and circumstances together. How do you turn such a book into a movie without failing miserably?…
David Mitchell’s novel is one of the most impressive novels I have ever read. It is an exercise in style, an exploration of the nature of humanity and a narrative of hope, an appreciation of art and a glimmer of redemption for a self-destructive race. That is what I got out of it, but the book is so complex that multiple interpretations are possible and there is always the chance that people will not take anything from it at all. That’s the nature of any form of art. Where the film fails to be a successful adaption of the novel on that deeper level for me, it more than succeeds in distilling a common thread from it, structuring the complex…
(Forward: I've been planning this review for a very long time now. I was very excited when the film came in the mail today.)
If a film is good, I'll usually think about it for a day or two before moving on. If it's great, I'l think about it for weeks. But to think about a film almost every day for nearly six months after I've first seen it? That takes a miracle.
And Cloud Atlas is that miracle.
Now, since I believe that the Academy should be subject to criminal abuse for disregarding Cloud Atlas, I shall now list every Oscar category that the film was eligible for and give reasons why it should have been a frontrunner at…
The Wachowski siblings have always been ambitious filmmakers even if they have overreached themselves on more than a few occasions. Cloud Atlas is undoubtedly their most ambitious project to date both thematically and logistically. Three directors, six interweaving stories and a big budget independent production dealing with existential questions: At worst it is career suicide, at best filmmakers’ folly.
Although David Mitchell’s original novel deals with the concept of storytelling it never seemed a natural fit for the silver screen. It is simply too dense and sprawling to be considered commercially viable. Therefore it took filmmakers with the vision and financial clout to bring this adaptation into the world. For all its faults, and it does have many, it is…
Cloud Atlas is a mess. That's the short truth of it. But what a big beautiful mess it is. As many flaws as there are in this film, I couldn't help but get wrapped up in how gorgeously unique this film was. Sitting there in a dark theater with a couple of friends and a small crowd, I just got enraptured by the whole thing. "How does this film even exist?" I thought to myself multiple times during the course of the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer's 3 hour epic.
I guess that's my biggest praise I can heap onto the film. I really have never seen a film like this in my life. While these stories aren't very original at…
Rather than acting like a welcome relief from the dark serious tone of the rest of the film, Jim Broadbent's 'runaway publisher' story just becomes a bizarre tangent and makes the whole film's mood very odd indeed. Perhaps the whole film is intended to be darkly comic? As much as there've been a lot of black comedies that I've really loved in recent years such as "Submarine" and "A Serious Man", it is always a rather difficult genre to pull off. Perhaps my problem is that "Cloud Atlas" is, at heart, a black comedy which just didn't click with me?
I found "Cloud Atlas" to be long and meandering with a lack of focus. It pretty much entirely failed to…
Better than Tree of Life.
Pretty bad honestly. Kept wondering why The Hitcher from The Mighty Boosh was tormenting Tom Hanks.
I finally finished reading the novel and had to return to the movie, since the first time around I saw the movie without knowing the source material. I'm still of the opinion that the movie is a masterwork of film-making.
It's truly stunning how well the three directors play off of each-other here and how they manage to take 6 stories set in entirely different time-periods and genres and still provide a final product that feels like a singular vision with a singular story to tell. There are obviously some discrepancies between the novel and the film, but that was inevitable, and I really don't begrudge them for that.
What absolutely sells this movie is the astonishing editing. You usually…
Pretty retarded in any substantive sense, unless very, very long strokes count for something: the expansion and contraction of time, positivism and the quest for "but only one truth," a Wachowski idiom of course, countered by identity crisis, the process of identity scattered about the arts, relationships, karma - the chemicals from the big bang propelling us forward, the repetition of mistakes and triumphs, the wild ride through time, past and future, collapsing unto itself and each of us, the journey more important than the destination (suicide, the guillotine), until the amorphous nature of existence changes the pattern. There's nothing quite like it though.
It doesn't waste time explaining much to you, and it makes the experience something more than just passively watching it. It's a beautiful film, the actors play well off of one another, and the make-up/special effects crew did an incredible job. It is weird to see the Korean lady as a red-haired Irish housewife though.
Cloud Atlas is a humanism, a tremendous work of fiction and anticipation accomplished by three gifted filmmakers.
It lacks sometimes of something "more", hard to describe, maybe a unique vision like Kubrick in 2001 or Cuaron in Children of Men.
It feels great to see hope materialized into a solid movie with epic parts and a great ensemble.
Very confusing at first, but it really unfolded into a great movie. I'd like to watch it again and take it all in.
- Eyes Wide Shut
- Speed Racer
- Marie Antoinette
- Spring Breakers
- Only God Forgives
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
- Spring Breakers
- A Field in England
Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
- The Red Shoes
- Synecdoche, New York
- Time of the Gypsies
- Speed Racer
- La Jetée
Apologies for the rather clumsy and drab title, I was going to call it Pure Cinema but that isn't quite…