Recently, I've become aware that certain films are able to transcend the medium by being completely self-assured in their atmospheres…
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…
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…
It speaks volumes of a filmmaker when they can fluently negotiate, perhaps perfect, multitudinous genres during their careers. What speaks even louder and distinctive volumes is that adept versatility showcased in and confined to a singular film, which navigates genres in such a fluid manner that the coalition of possibly conflicting styles is in fact flawless. Cloud Atlas is one such phenomenal film for the Wachowski's and Tom Tykwer, and what they orchestrate beneath the 172 minute smokescreen is unparalleled, exceedingly audacious and possibly, in due time whilst the film ferments, a revered classic in cinema.
Historic and futuristic; comedic and mightily dramatic; thrilling and introspective, Cloud Atlas traverses an abundance of eras, harnessing the theory that each choice we…
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?…
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…
(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…
Confusing at times, but definitely interesting. Very long and slow-pace. Don't expect an action filled film.
Cloud Atlas is based on a novel which I have not read. It tells six interwoven stories (apparently in the novel they are presented simply in chronological order) that relate to each other in various ways. The six stories are from six distinct time periods and locations. Most of the actors in the film play a character in each of the stories. It is an ambitious and sprawling film. I love multi-story films, and I enjoyed the way the individual narratives are woven together. The actors are great (including Halle Berry--who is usually hit or miss for me) and must have had a blast playing so many different roles. In the end, I think I enjoyed the storytelling even more…
Even though the film is nearly 3 hours long it managed to keep my attention throughout the entire runtime which is difficult to do but The Wachowski's pulled it off perfectly.
Easily the best work they've done.
1 problem I did have with the film was that they only showed Tom Hanks bad ass character from the 2012 timeline for only 1 scene.
An oddly cathartic combination of good, crazy, and crazy good.
Loved it. A beautiful film made up of six different interlinked stories, each story could be a film of it's own. Worth it alone for the different costumes and makeup that the cast wear.
A piece of shit, but a pretty and highly ambitious piece of shit.
Some of the more poetic lines from the novel dont sound so good when spoken aloud. Its got some impressive but disjointed action scenes and generally its just a preachy slog.
Also its unintentionally hilarious.
Seriously its one white actor doing blackface away from becoming a full on Its Always Sunny in Philadelphia Lethal Weapon 6 tier parody.
With editing much like Leone's Once Upon a Time in America and overarcing themes of human unity and multiple roles like Kieślowski's The Double Life of Veronique, I really wanted to like this film. Unfortunately, the segments lack real continuity and would have fared better in shorter standalone films (particularly the 2012 and 2144 sequences)--the length of the total film only detracts from the better segments. However, the tremendous efforts of all actors involved and consistently beautiful aesthetic choices make Cloud Atlas worth at least one watch.
The Wachowskis deliver their boldest film by editing multiple stories together in a non linear sequence that never feels too complicated to follow. The actors deliver bold performances, especially Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, and Halle Berry. Also special shout out to Tom Hanks for playing a hilariously over the top Irish gangster.
Now for me, besides my guilty pleasure that is speed racer, this is the wachowskis best film since the matrix reloaded (yes I enjoyed that one). The way this film is edited together and the way the stories intertwine is magnificent and adds to the way that the filmmakers are trying to tell this story. The actors give it their all and it really pays off with them giving fantastic preformences. The story is very complex and can get very confusing at times. The film is also almost 3 hours long and in my opinion, should be viewed in one sitting because of the complex nature of the story. Overall, this film is a very underrated flick that definitely deserves a watch.
My tastes are never deliberately contrarian but often my ideas go against a general consensus due to the fact I…
The 2015 edition of the They Shoot Pictures, Don't They? 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films list.
Incomplete data forced the…