The long-awaited meeting of the minds! CWG and HS, TOGETHER AT LAST!
It's too long if the film isn't good. If the film is great, who cares?
Obviously a big release like this is going to be cut down drastically or broken into two films, but your blanket statement about how long films should be sounds like...well, actually it sounds exactly like what I'd expect someone like you to say.
T E A M R I V E T T E
December 6th release date and a 2 hour 44 minute run time, at least according to the playlist.
Thompson is reporting that the film clocks in at 2 hours and 44 minutes, which Warner Bros. president Jeff Robinov let slide despite a contractual obligation to have the film come in at 2 and a half hours (or less). Quite frankly we’re amazing that the movie is that short – the novel, which cannot be recommended enough, consists of six interlocking stories that ripple out from one another and interweave in astounding ways (the stories cover everything from a paperback-y seventies thriller to a poetically post-apocalyptic tale of survival). In short: it’s a fucking epic. The script came in at well over 200 pages as well, so clearly a lot of trimming's been done.
What’s more, a stateside release date is being reported, with Warner Bros. opening the film in America on December 6th. This release date (in prime Oscar territory), along with the lax approach to the running time, indicates to us that the film is really, really good, and the fact that the movie is already finished means that Warner Bros. can screen it earlier and get the buzz rolling.
Clearwatergirl where were you? I looked and looked but did not see you. My face was
Also, this might be one of the best movies I've ever seen. More when I get home.
Sad thing is I had to cancel the thing I was going to tonight, so I could have gone to the movie. Oh well.
I'm with CocoActual Items
In the Year 2000
As more and more people start having sex with robots, it will become increasingly embarrassing to buy a can of WD-40.
Ugh Ben Whishaw. Is there are more vague, anemic performer? I think not.
Okay, so, Cloud Atlas. This is not a review, as I suspect some things will change between now and release, and everything is so delicately balanced that who knows what changing even the slightest element will do to the whole thing. It could all very easily fall apart between now and then. But what I saw tonight I loved!
When I say this is one of the best movies I've ever seen, I am exaggerating, of course, but only a very little bit. What's here is going to be beloved by some and vehemently hated by others, and I'm not sure there's going to be a middle ground. The (recent) films it most reminds me of are Tree Of Life and Margaret in its interest in pursuing absolutely every thread it can find and trying to tie them all back into some grand theory of everything. Like those films, not everything works. Like those films, what does work is so impressive that I'll forgive the faults to accept the whole.
I should say that I love the book this is based on. It's one of my favorite novels of the last decade, and I love it both for its stylistic cleverness and its beautiful evocation of the idea that even as we all die, what we were becomes eternal, because things have a tendency of rippling forward in time. Mind, this is a notion I'm not entirely sure I agree with (it's a lot easier to say this in a Western nation than it is elsewhere), but I think David Mitchell expresses it well, and his writing about slavery, subjugation, and the abuse of power is very well done as well.
That said, the book does not seem a natural fit for adaptation. It tells six different stories with no characters directly crossing over. It's very high-minded and interested in both mystical fooferaw and more practical, political concerns. One of the stories in the book is written in a pidgin English of a decaying future, while another is an 1800s journal where seemingly nothing happens. The pleasures of Mitchell's novel are considerable, but they seem confined to the page, because the structure of the thing would be unwieldy if applied directly to the screen.
Certainly if I were going to pick someone to adapt it, it wouldn't be the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer! Any one of the three could easily direct the book's action sequences (yes, there are some), but none would seem to be a good fit for the book's more ruminative passages (of which there are many). The temptation would probably be to perk the book up a bit, to give it more action where it needs none or make it more direct when it doesn't need to be. Or barring that, the temptation would be to slavishly follow the book's nesting doll structure, which takes us from the 1850s to the 1930s to the 1970s to the present day to the 2100s to the far, post-apocalyptic future, then back out again so it ends where it began. (Seriously, it's such an elegant novel.) Mitchell has big ideas on his mind, but he also knows how to construct a genre thriller, and the '70s potboiler, modern day comedic novella, and 2100s sci-fi story all move and behave like good examples of their forms.
What the Wachowskis and Tykwer have done, however, is essentially slice all of the six stories up as thinly as possible, then juxtapose scenes from each against each other, finding the resonances between the stories, and the dissonances, too. I suspect even the film's detractors will realize it as a triumph of editing, as every story rolls into every other one, and eventually, the effect becomes spellbinding and hypnotic, to the point where the climax of all six stories is held for something like an hour of screentime. What this creates is something that feels weirdly symphonic. There's not a plot so much as the suggestion of one, the suggestion of things moving forward and other things being exposed. It's at once ludicrous and deeply resonant, and I love the film's willingness to cut from, say, a foot chase sequence to someone reading a voiceover about the eternal nature of the soul over footage of, like, futuristic Tom Hanks climbing a mountain with the ruins of Honolulu in the background. It's completely fucking insane, but everybody involved commits so thoroughly that it doesn't allow you to question it. You're either in from frame one, or you're out. And along the way, it doesn't lose you.
There are complaints. I suspect some will be rubbed the wrong way by the blatant mash-up of genre plot elements with more metaphysical elements, but that's a source material thing, and I think the film handles it well, able to switch between tones on a dime. The section that's most hurt by this is the '70s section, which plays by so many detective cliches that it's not immediately clear it's meant to be a pastiche. I'd also normally be chagrined by a film that so blatantly states what it's trying to do at so many points, but I think this one earns it through some sly foreshadowing and through the use of various literary devices to stand in for voiceover. There's stuff here that feels out of Malick, only instead of the natural world, the directors are interested in the chaos man has made of that world (and amongst each other), but Malick has always had voiceover that directly tells you what's going on in his head, and that's tough to adjust to with other filmmakers. I also think the ending--specifically the last two scenes--is a bit of a botch, and a moment that plays in the book just doesn't work here because it sounds so pompous and self-righteous (though the filmmakers have found a way to incorporate the novel's tremendous final line).
This isn't going to be a major Oscar player, I don't think. It would require near-unanimous critical praise--which it won't get--and massive box office--which seems unlikely. If it's a player, it will probably mostly be for the techs and maybe the elliptically beautiful screenplay. I have a hard time seeing much of anything else. But I don't really care. I'm glad this movie exists, and I hope the studio doesn't fuck it up too much thanks to test screening results. This is a delicate thing, and even the slightest of changes could make it all fall apart. But for a certain type of filmgoer, this is going to be a real treat indeed, and a reminder that American film can still do ambitious as well as anybody else (just so long as it's primarily financed by foreigners).
Also, Natalie Portman isn't in this. So SCREW YOU, BEATLESFAN.
This really sounds like an evolution of the experimental editing in Speed Racer.
I couldn't be more excited.
Could you please tell me about performances? Especially how was Jim Sturgess? He plays six roles including Adam Ewing in the film.And I didn’t read the book.Do you think I need to read book to understand film? (although it isn't published yet in my countly..)
Thank you! And sorry for my English.
I don't think you'll need to read the book to understand the film, no. The audience seemed (mostly) into it, and I highly doubt most of them had read the book.
Warner Bros have decided to release the film on October 26.
They also bought distribution rights for a bunch of extra territories. Looks like they're confident about this one after the test screenings.
So excited for this one!