Brief: Cloud Atlas
Cloud Atlas
Hearing someone call a movie "A beautiful mess" is like cinematic kryptnoite to me, so I knew I'd see this eventually, and frankly, I think the film is better than its reputation. Yes, some of the storylines work better than others (particularly the segments set in Neo-Seoul in the 22nd century, where I'm sure the Wachowskis were really allowed to flex), and it was almost certainly a mistake to cast the actors in multiple roles across the film, especially in the cases where actors were portraying characters of another race (I really never thought I'd have to use the term "yellow face" about a movie released in 2012). This may have worked better with a different cast, honestly, as Hanks and Berry especially aren't up to the task (two excruciating words: cockney accent). However, the film's editing, by Alexander Berner, is uniformly stellar, and its a travesty he isn't getting more awards recognition for a movie that is basically one long, well-executed montage. At its best, Cloud Atlas is downright lyrical, cross-cutting through time and space to tell interconnected stories about the ability of the weak to triumph over the strong, and the intrinsic value of freedom, regardless of its price. In its greatest moments, the film soars from one storyline to the next, hitting crest after crest, and the whole thing is actually kind of beautiful to behold. It certainly isn't one of the best movies of 2012, but it is one of the most interesting, and its failures are failures of ambition.

Read more of Jordan's Film Criticism here
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