I was feeling kind of burned out Saturday afternoon from over work on my graphic novel and arguing politics with other bloggers, so Mary Ann and I decided to take a chance on the new movie, Cloud Atlas, playing over at Sierra Cinemas. I was a bit apprehensive about the film after reading some reviews. There are multiple storylines that bounce back and forth through different time periods in human history, and some critics wondered if viewers would be able to follow all the plot lines. After getting excited about Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and coming away disappointed, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to take on a two-and-a-half hour sci-fi epic that needed three or four directors to complete.
Let me just say my fears were unfounded. From the moment that an aged Tom Hanks appears on the screen until the credits, my eyes were riveted to the screen. One advantage of the multiple plots is there are no slow periods where you want to go get popcorn; the story comes at you like a tornado and leaves you reeling in your seat. Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, and the rest of the cast play different roles in all the stories, which are separate yet connected. There is a murder mystery set in 1973, an ocean voyage in 1849, the story of a clone waitress set in Seoul, South Korea in the twenty-second century, a frustrated homosexual composer, a doddering old literary agent who is tricked into committing himself, and the fate of mankind after the “Fall” of civilization in the far-flung future.
Sounds intimidating, doesn’t it? But it works magnificently and will no doubt be a contender for the oscars next year. We might even go see it again. Four Stars. (And be sure to stay for the credits, when you get to see all the various roles played by the cast.)