Drifting Clouds

Drifting Clouds ★★★★½

Despite a completely opposite filming style, this almost strikes me as something close to modern Murnau, using deceptively simple narrative frameworks and laser-precise formal touches to convey the complexity of inner havoc that economic despair wreaks. I never fully appreciated how indebted to Edward Hopper Kaurismäki is, all cool but cleanly separated color tones and stark framing that emphasizes loneliness even when people share a frame. That a happy ending emerges from this perhaps marks this as his The Last Laugh, at once jarringly dissonant from the 85 minutes that precede it and such a poetic validation of perseverance as to obliterate doubts about plausibility.