Mad geniuses Tom Tykwer (Perfume) and the Wachowski siblings (The Matrix) boldly take on David Mitchell's layered epic novel, which connects six generations through the power of storytelling. The film takes so many huge risks that it's breathtaking to watch even when it stumbles. And as each tale is passed on to the next generation, the swirling themes get under the skin.
The six stories are interlinked in a variety of ways, transcending time to find common themes. On a ship in 1849, a seriously ill American lawyer (Sturgess) shows kindness to a stowaway ex-slave (Gyasi). In 1936 Edinburgh, a great composer (Broadbent) hires a musician (Whishaw) to transcribe his work, then tries to steal the young man's magnificent Cloud Atlas symphony. In 1973 San Francisco, a Latina journalist (Berry) gets a tip about dodgy goings on in a local nuclear power plant. In present-day London, a publisher (Broadbent) is trapped in a nursing home by his brother (Grant) and plots a daring escape. In 2144 Neo Soul, an official (D'Arcy) interrogates a replicant (Bae) who started a rebellion alongside a notorious rebel (Sturgess). And in a distant stone-age future, an island goatherd (Hanks) teams up with an off-worlder (Berry) when they're attacked by a warlord (Grant).
While the themes in this film are eerily involving, what makes this film unmissable is the way the entire cast turns up in each of the six story strands, changing age, race and gender along the way. Even so, they're essential variations on each other. Weaving is always a nemesis, whether he's a hitman, a demon or a nasty nurse. Hanks' characters are always strong-willed and often badly misguided. Grant goes against type to play sinister baddies. And D'Arcy is the only actor who plays the same character in two segments, as Whishaw's 1930s young lover and Berry's 1970s elderly informant. Meanwhile, each segment plays with a different genre: seafaring epic, twisted drama, political mystery, action comedy, sci-fi thriller and gritty adventure.
Continue reading: Cloud Atlas Review
Stefan Arndt, his wife Manuela Stehr and Michael Haneke - Stefan Arndt, his wife Manuela Stehr, Michael Haneke Berlin, Germany - Premiere of Funny Games U.S. at Kino International Thursday 29th May 2008
A simple Rashomon meets Go tale of a lost sack of cash and twenty minutes to find 100,000 Deutsche Marks to replace it, Run Lola Run (aka Lola Rennt) follows Lola (Potente), the girlfriend of a hapless guy, Manni (Bleibtreu), a low-down on the organized crime totem pole. When Manni foolishly leaves said cash on the subway, Lola figures it's up to her to fix the situation before Manni does something even more stupid in the next 20 minutes, before the appointed time for the money drop.
Continue reading: Run Lola Run Review
How a Polish script, a German director, an Australian lead actress, and an Italian-American actor managed to concoct such an authentic vision of the deceased French filmmaker is beyond comprehension, but they accomplished it nonetheless. Heaven looks, feels, and sounds like a Kieslowski film with its limited dialogue and slow, deliberate pacing, but it's actually the product of Tom Tykwer, who directed the acclaimed films Run Lola Run, and The Princess and the Warrior. Tykwer gives credit to Kieslowski's writing, but the cinematography, the scenes, the sound design, and the performances are a result of his decisions.
Continue reading: Heaven Review
The film is about a young man named Alex (Daniel Brühl) who tries to keep his convalescent mother (Katrin Sass) - who has recently awakened from a coma which she fell into right before the fall of Communism -- fooled into believing that the Berlin Wall is still up and Communism is alive and well.
Continue reading: Good Bye, Lenin! Review
Well, you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover and you shouldn't judge a DVD by one, either.
Continue reading: Love In Thoughts Review
Tom Tykwer, the German director who exploded onto the international scene with Run Lola Run brings this odd story of mistaken identity and deathly fate to the screen with an awkward, but in some ways rewarding, slant.
Continue reading: Wintersleepers Review
Tykwer reunites with Lola star Franka Potente, casting her as Sissi (the princess, presumably) a troubled mental ward nurse who probably ought to be a patient herself. After a morose 20-minute setup wherein the players are cryptically introduced, we find Sissi lying near death under a semi truck, run down in a city street. To her rescue comes the unlikely hero Bodo (the warrior?), played by the Gary Oldmanesque Benno Fürmann (also Potente's Anatomy costar), a two-bit crook who indirectly caused the collision in the first place. Bodo saves Sissi's life by giving her a homemade tracheotomy, and after a long recovery, the already unstable Sissi soon finds herself obsessed with her savior.
Continue reading: The Princess And The Warrior Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.
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