Saturday, January 11, 2014

Penny Thoughts ‘14—Cloud Atlas (2012) ****

R, 172 min.
Directors: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer
Writers: Lana Wachowski, Andy Wachowski, Tom Tykwer, David Mitchell (novel)
Starring: Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Sturgess, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Doona Bae, Ben Wishaw, Keith David, James D’Arcy, Xun Zhou, David Gyasi, Susan Sarandon, Hugh Grant

“Cloud Atlas” is a monumentally good movie that was overlooked in a year saturated with great cinematic efforts. Upon my initial screening at the time of its release, I really liked it; but upon a second screening, I believe it is a masterpiece.

It’s a unique film experience by telling so many different tales in the fractured structure in which it does, and yet they are really all the same story. I believe some people were befuddled by the way it switched from one story to another with such frequency, but I found its pace riveting and just right for the material. Often times I find the pace of science fiction and action movies to be too quick, but the quick pace here serves the material well because its scope is so grand and every scene relates to the next with immense intensity. Watching it I found I couldn’t even think about pausing it as each consecutive scene pulled me in so quickly.

Unfortunately, the grand scope of the story makes it difficult to discuss each story in detail as such a task would require an entire dissertation. If you’ve seen the movie, you know what I mean. For my best swipe at it in a very limited space, read my original review, which still avoids plot details, but covers its methods and effectiveness better than I can in this Penny Thoughts format.

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