MOVIE REVIEW: ‘Cloud Atlas’ tells stories across many lifetimes

By M. Scott Morris/NEMS Daily Journal

In the past, I’ve explained there are movies and there are M. Scott Morris movies.
Every so often the second type comes along. Even though they entertain the heck out of me, I have a hard time recommending them to others. They’re too weird for most sane people, but match up nicely with my skewed gray matter.
“Cloud Atlas” is such a movie. I loved it and can’t wait to see it again. I immediately bought the soundtrack. I’ll probably own it on DVD. I bought the David Mitchell book that it’s based on and plan to read that.
It’s a grand story about the human condition, and it spans generations and lifetimes. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry both play six different characters in different vignettes that investigate the same themes: Honor, freedom, redemption and sacrifice.
“Cloud Atlas” is a complicated morality play. I’ve got a cheat-sheet with the cast and characters listed, but I can’t place every character’s name to his or her part in the movie. There was far too much going on for me to keep track of the whole thing.
Instead, I took movie critic Roger Ebert’s advice. He said he decided to let the interlocking stories wash over him and go with the flow, and that resulted in a grand cinematic experience. (I’m paraphrasing his words, but you get the idea.)
I suspected this was going to be an M. Scott Morris movie when I saw the first trailer a couple of months ago. And the trailer gave a good sense of the terrain “Cloud Atlas” travels.
The movie is visually splendid, as it moves from a ship in the Pacific Ocean in the 1800s to England in the early 1930s to a nuclear reactor in the 1970s to a prison/old folks home in 2012 to the 22nd century and to a post-apocalyptic future.
I can hear people saying, “I want nothing to do with all that,” which is understandable, even if that means they’ll miss what might be my favorite movie of the year.
Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski and Tom Tykwer adapted the screenplay and shared directing credits. It must’ve taken a monumental balancing act and a busload of old-fashioned hard work to render Mitchell’s book on the screen. I’m glad they made it happen. The early box office numbers don’t look good, but “Cloud Atlas” is fantastic.
I give it an A plus.
It’s showing at Malcos in Tupelo, Oxford, Corinth and Columbus.
Look for movie reviews in Scene on Thursdays, and listen each Tuesday morning on Wizard 106.7 between 8:30 and 8:45 a.m.

Kelli Karlson Wizard 106.7 – She gives “Cloud Atlas” an F.”

‘I didn’t understand it. I didn’t like it. I’m not going to see it again,
hopefully, ever.’

  • http://GuardAmerican.com/ GuardAmerican

    It is a beautiful work that I, too, might buy.