Yeah, her and Ben Whishaw were the standouts for me and Tom Hanks was easily the worst. His doctor, in particular, was horrendous. I'm still not entirely sure how I felt about this as a whole. Individual scenes are almost always successful and are often brilliant, but I'm sure it coalesced into a fully impacting whole...
I'm still processing this -- there were moments of beauty, for sure, and Ben Whishaw in particular was excellent, but I was too distracted by the editing. I understand that this is six stories, but the flow could've been smoother, I felt that they edited too much and there should've been a little more room at least for one full scene to play out before the other began. It's possible that there are structural things that they were going for (to emphasize on the interlinking of the stories and perhaps something to do with the "Cloud Atlas" composition's structure) -- which I guess I'll be able to tell when I watch it again.
.. and I agree about Tom Hanks' doctor. He was terrible! Also, I couldn't understand half the stuff Hanks and Berry spoke in the bookending storyline.
Saw it again today ... liked it even more the second time.
Some of the editing in this is sheer genius. I love all the brief moments when we see a second of someone's lives. And how the filmmakers tie the themes of the book together through editing
Edit: Also, I think the Broadbent character in the Neo Seoul sequence is playing the Cloud Atlas sextet on the street right before it goes to the "boundaries are conventions" scene.
Last edited by TheOppressionRepressesMe; 10-30-2012 at 10:34 PM.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?
YOU SEEM TO MOVE UNEASY
Yes, there are many truly beautiful moments in this. My favorite scenes usually involved the ones with Wishaw and Bae. I would really just like to watch their storylines again. The storyline with Jim Broadbent was good comic relief but it didn't seem like it was a part of the same movie.
I wanted so much more of Whishaw and his story line. His reading and the content of his last letter to Sixsmith is the highlight for me and I simply didn't want it to end. And yeah, Bae was a revelation. As I said her earlier, in her interview sessions she showed steely resolve and cynicism and yet a sad vulnerability and longing too.
I really enjoyed this! Despite its flaws, it won me over and I found it a quite moving experience in the end. My love for the Wachowskis, already sky high after The Matrix and then Speed Racer, continues to grow. Tykwer's sequences kicked ass, too. And I wrote a review!
Three directors, six timelines covering past, present, and future, and a whole slew of major roles divvied up between a handful of main cast members. With Cloud Atlas, co-directors Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer have turned ambition into an art form. The sheer size of their work, coupled with great clarity of vision, gives this sprawling adaptation of David Mitchell's 2004 novel the strength to weather the kind of storm that would sink most other movies. Occasionally bordering on silly sentimentality and ultimately overlong in terms of the time required to share its message, Cloud Atlas would likely crack and crumble if it weren't for the careful juggling act the trio of directors perform with such fabulous fluidity.
They never forget or neglect a timeline, nor favour one so heavily over another that they cause an imbalance. It's an astonishing feat of narrative arrangement that supports the movie's core message that everything in life is connected, so much so that our lives continue on through time and link us to past experiences. By connecting the timelines so precisely and with such sharp editing, the directors are able to communicate the message in cinematically vibrant ways, often using aural and visual cues to bridge the gaps in time. When a character mentions a metaphorical door in one timeline, a cut takes us to a shot of an actual door opening in another. Character actions and movements provide further glue from scene to scene.
Each timeline contains its own pair of arcs and it is as much a testament to the talent of the actors as it is to the skill of the directors that the individual timelines are all engaging and entertaining both as solo vignettes and as a thematically entwined whole. Tom Hanks is a pidgin-speaking goat herder in a post-apocalyptic future where cannibals terrorize a rocky island home that triumphantly juts out of the risen ocean. Hanks is also a chemist in 1973 San Francisco, a timeline mainly dominated by Halle Berry's intrepid journalist. Berry has run-ins with time-spanning villains Hugh Grant and Hugo Weaving, who both appear as various versions of antagonists throughout, with Weaving even eventually turning up in drag as a nasty nurse in a seniors care home.
That care home is a prison for Jim Broadbent's present day publisher, but Broadbent finds refuge in another timeline as an aging composer who takes potential protégé Ben Whishaw under his wing in 1936 Cambridge. Their collaboration creates the Cloud Atlas Sextet, a lovely, powerful piece of music that stretches smoothly across all six timelines. Whishaw's character has a severed romantic relationship with James D'Arcy, who pines for his lover across two timelines and also appears under odd, racially transformative makeup as an interrogator in 2144 Neo Seoul, a towering blue metropolis stuffed with transparent, though imaginatively designed CGI. D'Arcy's object of interrogation is Doona Bae, who plays a woman consigned to a robotic life of labour because she's not considered a pure bred. Her character meets a saviour in the form of Jim Sturgess, whose other major role has him fighting illness on board a ship in 1849 as he attempts to return home to his wife.
It's a lot to chew on and mull over, but the actors are completely in tune with the combined vision of the directors, so all of these various strands feel, well, connected. It's imperative that the actors establish their identities right from the start, because despite working with a nearly three hour running time, the filmmakers don't wish to comfortably ease us into the time-warped experience. In a bold move, Tykwer and the Wachowskis hurl us into the different timelines almost immediately, moving so quickly that we've already visited each time period within just the opening few minutes. It's an exhilarating start that pulls us into the swirling mysteries without hesitation.
This move by the filmmakers encapsulates the strange success of Cloud Atlas. It's not the mysteries that necessarily intrigue, but rather the actual pulling. Of course, the two are linked and the mysteries are fun to follow, but the resolutions tend to be so simplified or even derivative at times that the plots don't feel all too unique on their own. So it's the way in which the directors weave our participation through each timeline that truly impresses. The opening introductions are a grand example of the soaring ambition that feels creatively achieved throughout, but it's also the honesty with which the directors approach the themes and material that provides Cloud Atlas with its infectiously passionate power.
At all turns, the overall experience endears because the actors and directors are so connectively committed to the tender delivery of the intimate spectacle. It's all so big and yet felt so deeply from within. The movie's ultimate victory hinges on the marriage of the epic grandiosity and the small personal touches that drive each timeline. The two can't work apart, but together, they're quite moving. It's because Cloud Atlas is all about the journey and while the individual journeys are at times obvious and their messages somewhat heavy-handed, the journey as a whole is so crisply constructed that it justifies the existence of each piece with coherent conviction.
Stretched across a sprawling canvas, this dazzling picture overcomes its challenges to emerge a fascinating display of directorial collaboration. As much about awesome ambition as it is about linked lives, Cloud Atlas is visually stunning with its grand photography and visually enigmatic with its heavy use of makeup that transforms some actors in certain timelines so completely that I only clued in during a series of clip montages dedicated to each performer during the end credits. For a movie with big messages and a lot of philosophical profundity on its mind, Cloud Atlas works differently than expected. What it's trying to say is a bit basic, a tad obvious, and perhaps too simplistic to warrant three hours of pondering, but its way of saying it is what amazes and excites and entertains. There's something spectacular about the directors' shared method. On this journey, the story is big, but the telling is beautiful.
There were only like 2 of them, but the scenes with Wishaw and Sixsmith together are just so lovely and remind me of my own lost loves. lol
For some reason I'm really surprised by all the love Cloud Atlas is getting on here. While watching it, it didn't strike me as something that would be a hit with you guys. I'll be seeing this again either tomorrow or Friday. As I said before, there was so much about this that I loved (I just downloaded the soundtrack - I love the music). But, still, I'm bugged by the make-up. I've come to realize - it's not so much that the make-up was used to have the actors play different nationalities, as I alluded to the other day, but more that I just found it utterly unconvincing. Did this honestly not bug anyone else, or am I just taking it too seriously? After all, I don't suppose the directors were really trying to hide the fact that Hugo Weaving isn't a woman.
They wanted the actors to mostly be recognizable, or the whole point about recurring souls is kind of lost, no?
T E A M R I V E T T E
I'm going to try and not to focus on this too much in my second viewing, and just enjoy everything else about the film which I think works like gangbusters.
P.S. I want to echo the enthusiasm for the Frobisher/Sixsmith love story. Out of the myriad of couplings of the film, it was by far the most emotional.
Last edited by Elessar; 10-31-2012 at 11:56 PM.
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.
LOL, I really have no idea why Weaving's female makeup was so bad. It really shouldn't have been.
OMG He looks like Estelle Parsons.
Leaving a screening of The Paperboy.
Went again today, and the make-up didn't bother me as much. This is definitely one of my favs this year - absolutely sublime.
...and my god, that gorgeous music. I'd started to become bored with film scores in the past year or so - but I'm losing it over this soundtrack. Just breathtaking.
EDIT: Also, I was really jealous of all you guys who are praising the Sixsmith/Frobisher segment of the film, because I don't think I called that out in my posts. Then I realized my signature totally had that base covered. It is also my cover photo on Facebook.
WHAT HAVE I DONE?
YOU SEEM TO MOVE UNEASY
The Frobisher storyline was easily my favorite one as well.
And on the score: it is beautiful indeed. When I first heard the cloud atlas sextet, I almost couldn't believe that it was original.
The piano theme is fantastic, too.
Recently watched films:
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga - ***
Series 7: The Contenders - **
The Island President - ****
The Friends of Eddie Coyle - ****
The Proposition - ****1/2
I really, really, really liked this. The sheer magnitude and ambition of the film is admirable, but what really won me over was how heartfelt and genuine the whole thing felt to me. I was initially pretty cynical about how they're going to handle the recasting of the actors (the makeup wasn't perfect to be honest, some were great while others weren't so), but I was surprised by how un-gimmicky it all felt. I echo whoever said that Wishaw and Bae were the standouts. Wishaw's final scenes were heartbreaking, whereas Bae's performance really made the Neo Seoul sequences worked. All in all, great!
The Beautiful and Talented Godgend Señor El Diablo Blanchitto
Returning to Hollywood with a Vengeance in 2013
This was thoroughly entertaining. While enjoying them all, my favorite storylines were the 1973 one, the 2012 one, and the Neo Seoul one. So much to discuss but I am thinking acting first.
Hanks, Berry, Grant - Three stars who have made a ton of bad movies over the last decade. Hanks does his best work in years (and work far superior to what won him those two undeserved Oscars). I don't agree with the assessment of some of his work as the Doctor in 1836. I think he makes for a repellent slug of a man - the kind of person one hopes pays bigtime. It is some wonderfully OTT acting. His 1936 Hotel manager and modern day thug are winning cameos. And he oddly works well in the bookending storyline. While I am not a big fan of Hanks, he makes the right acting choices here. He is immensely watchable on screen (something I did not picture myself saying about Hanks again). Berry though is somewhat workmanlike in the most futuristic storyline. She is far better in the 1973 storyline. Still her work is not exceptional here. As for Grant, he nails slime well. He seems to be having great fun here and is thoroughly enjoyable.
Broadbent - If any of the men were to get an acting nomination, I would hope it is Broadbent who is astonishing in both the 1936 and the 2012 one. Long one of my favorite actors, he is as loveable in the the modern one as he is venomous in the 1936 one.
Whishaw and D'Arcy - Superb work in both the 1936 and 1973 storylines. While Whishaw is very moving as the doomed composer, I think D'Arcy is just as amazing particularly in the 1973 storyline where loss emanates from his eyes.
Bae - Nothing less than masterful as expected. A powerful performance by a amazing actress. Just heartbreaking.
Last edited by ldw; 11-03-2012 at 10:49 PM.