Leave the cannoli, take the movies

Review Blog

Cloud Atlas

Posted by Jonathan Leithold-Patt on October 31, 2012 at 7:45 PM

CLOUD ATLAS   ***1/2

Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer


IDEA:  Six stories, each taking place within a span of about 500 years, interweave in a tale about the reverberations of human life through time.

BLURB:  Cloud Atlas is like vaudeville tangoing with a classical orchestra, carnival bombast meeting sensual symphony in glorious lockstep. While some might see it as pseudo-spiritual New Age-y nonsense, Hugo Weaving in Nurse Ratched drag getting a keg smashed over his head during a geriatric-incited pub brawl reminds you at about what level the film asks you to take it seriously. This is pure unabashed fun, and as far as such entertainments go, this one has the glee factor and enviable artistic ambition. Hopping breathlessly between six separate storylines, each one distinct in tone and character, the siblings Wachowski and Tom Tykwer weave together, rather mind-bogglingly, a gargantuan treasure trove of a mosaic packed with visual and thematic parallels endlessly bouncing off each other. The stupendous cast, popping up repeatedly in myriad strange but always enjoyable ways, plays a veritable village of lurid characters, while an immaculate crafts team clearly has a ball designing all the disparate century-spanning worlds. Who knows if everything here ultimately works – it’s such an audacious, daring, gonzo thrill ride you won’t even care.

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