2013 / Directors. Lana Wachowski. Tom Tykwer. Andy Wachowski,
The Wachowskis (Maxtrix) have teamed up with co-director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) to make one of the most ambitious big budget films I have ever seen. My mind is officially blown! The film takes place over 6 different periods across hundreds of years. The cast is an impressive ensemble including Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent and Jim Sturges (amongst others) and each of them play 6 different characters of drastically contrasting appearance and personality. It's hugely impressive. The story itself is impossible to describe other than it's about past lives and the influences each one has on the future... and upon one viewing it won't make a lick of sense. It is, however, apparent that each of the stories are connected in some way or another and I found myself investing a huge amount of trust in these directors. They knew what they were doing and have ultimately constructed a complex and fantastic, dare I say, masterpiece. Cloud Atlas excites me because it has a longevity. I know that I will need to revisit it many times over to fully comprehend its intricacies and I feel gratified that a big studio has actually invested in something so artistic, experimental and dangerous. The performances are all excellent and the design is awe inspiring. At times funny, often brutally violent and always provoking, Cloud Atlas is a great film. I read that Tom Hanks describes it as a "Highfalutin piece of art that makes no sense on first appearance" and Andy Wachowski has defended the film by saying that film critics react defensively and irrationally when something challenges them. That their confusion leads to them faulting the film itself rather than evaluating and learning to understand it more... he's spot on. Cloud Atlas needs to be seen, and seen, and seen again.