Last year the movie “The Tree Of Life”, directed and written by Terrence Malick, was a darling of the critics but the public shunned it and it looks like “Cloud Atlas” will hold that position in 2012 but certainly will get Oscar nominated, and should win, for make-up, with more about that further down.
There are 6- stories interwoven with each other coming together unless you miss one sentence at the end. There is a little bit of every genre in this movie from action films, James Bond, “Avatar”, horror movies, cowboys and indians, “Star Wars”, not to forget one of those very British smart, funny comedies, along with Nurse Rached from “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest”, in addition to some very violent scenes and let’s thrown in a little “Soylent Green” plus love stories, with the latter carrying the main theme of the movie ‘love is all’. “Cloud Atlas” is a long film written and directed by Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer with each minute of the film having talk and/or action and a lot going on. You may not understand the film, when or where it is taking place, or even who is playing what character, but you won’t be bored, mainly puzzled though! The film takes place from the 1800s to the 2300s with stops all over and off the map.
It is very hard to tell the story of “Cloud Atlas” or to even give a synopsis. You can either get completely involved with the different storylines and attempt to keep track in which case you will be as puzzled as the person who just sits back and takes the movies as it goes by.
The cast--and it is large--all do great jobs and you will be in awe of who played which parts when they show the actors and the many varied roles they played as they are shown during the end credits. It is then you will understand how great the make-up, hair and costume departments did their jobs and deserve any awards they have coming. The Directors of photography, John Toll and Frank Griebe, the production designers, Uli Hanisch and Hugh Bateup, along with the music written by Mr. Tykwer, Johnny Klimek and Reinhold, all bring their A game to the film.
The Wachowskis, along with Tykwer, have tackled the book, written by David Mitchell, and seem to have made the mistake of trying to get all of his book into an almost 3 hour film and fail. It’s a fascinating film to watch but not a film to see again, you won’t understand anymore than you did the first time, or recommend. Like “The Tree Of LIfe” if you miss “Cloud Atlas” you will quickly forget it.
Fans of Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Susan Sarandon, and the other players, will keep the theatres busy for a week or two. The film should get a few Oscar nominations, possibly even one for Hanks, depending on the number of actors up for the honor, for Best Actor, keeping it in movie fans radar but the film will mainly be discussed, and talked about, by film critics.