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Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cloud Atlas (2012)

Six stories run parallel with each other, each taking place during a different era: the South Pacific in the 1860s, England in the 1930s, San Francisco in the 1970s, Great Britain in 2012, Korea in the year 2144 and a post apocalyptic world in an unspecified future. A sprawling ambitious genuine epic with directing duties split between Tom Tykwer (RUN LOLA RUN) and the Wachowski siblings (Andy and Lana) that pushes the three hour mark. While each individual narrative on its own is flawed (the 2012 sequence fares the worst), the total sum of the parts is impressive. This isn't safe movie making and if I give the film a lot of slack it's because it's attempting something challenging and provocative that uses all of cinema's resources to challenge its audience to connect the dots instead of doing it for us (leaving the theater, I overheard a woman whining, "I couldn't follow it!"). It's massive cast all play several parts that extend beyond racial and gender lines, for example Halle Berry plays an Asian male doctor while that terrific Korean actress Doona Bae (in an impressive English language debut) plays a Mexican woman. And it's not a gimmick as thematically, all the characters are tied together on some level so it actually makes sense. A one of a kind film that demands to be seen. The huge cast includes Tom Hanks, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant, Jim Broadbent, Ben Whishaw, James D'Arcy, Hugo Weaving, Keith David and Jim Sturgess.

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