Cloud Atlas, Compliance, and a couple of others
by Toby Woollaston
So many movies, so little time. With so much on at the moment I’ve had little time to watch any movies. Fitting them in around work, family, and all the while still beavering away at my thesis. Here are few that I recently caught up with:
Cloud Atlas. Grand doesn’t even begin to describe this ambitious film. Based on the novel of the same name by David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas explores multiple characters across the gulf of time, both past, present, and future, and shows how our lives are inextricably linked and our decisions are echoed throughout time. As Susan Sarrrandon explains, “our lives are not our owns, we are bound to others, past and present”. Tom Twyker, Andy Wachowski, and Lana Wachowski (directors) do what I would consider a very commendible job keeping this all together. The sheer orchestration of cross-cuts, cross-genders, cross-races, and a mosiac of storylines is masterfully brought together. Intentionally disorienting and detaching to begin with, Cloud Atlas superbly weaves its way towards a conclusion. The stella cast (Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Susan Sarrandon, Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant among others) play a myriad of roles that cleverly draw and engage, then throw and tease your attention around the cinematic screen. Cloud Atlas is quite an accomplishment that I feel has slipped under the radar. Shame.
My rating and trailer here.
Compliance. Whoa … I really found this an awkward film to watch. In a nutshell, Compliance explores the nature to which people succumb to authority. Based on true events, it tells the story of a sexual devient prank caller impersonating a police officer who victimises employees at a fast food outlet. Craig Zobel superbly directs a slow burn that ratchets up the tension with enexhorable unease. He handles the subject matter with great care, employing a trope often synonamous with good horrors, that it is what you don’t see that is disturbing. Had it not been for the superb nature that this film was shot, its exploration of true events, and the extraordinary acting skills of Ann Dowd, I would’ve suggested that this was a little close to the bone. However, I found Compliance to be a thoroughly interesting and engrossing film.
My rating and trailer here.
Of other films I’ve recently seen …
This is 40. Fun, funny. Love Paul Rudd … he’s hillarious. Slaps you with a few home truths. This is an Appatow film, so not surprisingly it is quite irreverent.
Five Year Engagement. Don’t quite love Jason Segal as much. Slightly less fun, funny. A little more slapstick. Not overly memorable … in fact quite forgettable really.
Oh, and I saw Night at the Museum 2. Making allowances … it’s still a pile of tosh. Not even sure the kids liked it that much either.