19 small glimpses of a big, bizarre-looking film.
A REAL FIRST LOOK AT THE EPIC SCOPE OF CLOUD ATLAS
No, it'll be great. (Though in the interests of full disclosure, I signed up as a card-carrying, dues-paying staunch defender as soon as I heard they were making this, so take it with a grain of salt.)
There's a six minute, likely less than legal trailer that's been floating around, as well. This could either be brilliant, or, more likely, a huge clusterfuck. Still, I'm intrigued. At the very least, I was in need of a new summer read. Looks like I just found it.
I was just about to say: the trailer and these images gave me a bit of a, erm, Southland Tales vibe. Huge scope, interconnecting plot lines, etc. But then again, I've never read the book, so I'll admit this impression could be pretty wrongheaded.
The book is amazing, and from the looks of trailer, the film looks incredible as well. How they will be able to do justice to the six wildly different stories and tones in the novel is another story, but I'm eager as fuck to find out.
Have read the novel twice now. It looks like the directors reached right inside my head and pulled out my envisionings of several of those characters/scenes (particularly Broadbent as Cavendish and Whishaw as Frobisher).
And that shot of Papa Song's...about what I'd pictured. The Sonmi-stuff is going to be the trickiest to pull off, probably (along with Hugo as Ol' Georgie and all the post-apocalyptic stuff with Hanks), but it looks like they're going for the proper tone, if nothing else. The novel has some humorous sequences (the nursing-home portions), and some very, very disturbing portions (again, the aforementioned post-holocaust section), and I wonder if what plays decently on the written page will even translate properly to the screen.
Each actor plays something like 5-6 different roles in this film (Weaving, Hanks, Berry, Sarandon, Whishaw, Broadbent, Grant, etc.), some taking up lots of screentime, some barely cameos in certain sections (and some playing cross-racial and -gender roles under makeup).
Fuck it, I just can't wait to see Weaving in drag once again, at long, long last. Also, Keith David shooting shit.
God, I do hope they figured out how to make it click. They've got about a half-hour per story (with around a three-hour running time). A lot of the book is driven by stylized prose and character observations, so it's hard to tell how much actual plot each story contains. Still, three hours is still a super-compressed form of the book. But I like the spirit so far.
Just read that one of those post-apocalyptic cannibals in the trailer (under tons and tons of makeup) is played by Hugh Grant (in one of his many roles in this film).
According to test-screening reviews, the directorial-breakdown of the film goes:
- "The Pacific Journal of Adam Ewing" - The Wachowskis
- "Letters From Zedelghem, 1931" - Tom Tykwer
- "Half-Lives: The First Luisa Rey Mystery" - Tom Tykwer
- "The Ghastly Ordeal of Timothy Cavendish" - Tom Tykwer
- "An Orison of Sonmi-451" - The Wachowskis
- "Sloosha's Crossin' an' Evry'thin' After" - The Wachowskis
Part of me doesn't even want to see this, for two reasons:
1) Dat Trailer. How can it live up to the glory?
2) If it's a success, someone will start working on an Infinite Jest movie again, and that will not end well for anyone.
I was going to say, seeing it in action it looked more than a little Fountain-like, except even more ambitious.
Geez, I hope I manage to earn some extra money in the next month so I can go see this at TIFF.
And he gets billed! The extended trailer had me, but this was the cherry on top. Wow. I'm...trying to keep my expectations in check, but, wow!
imdb has him down for three roles, he's carrying this movie!
So...I'm not imagining things, right? There's at least one non-Asian actor made up to look Asian in that trailer, right? And possibly vice versa?
I hope vice versa, because otherwise we're getting into icky territory.
That definitely looks like Jim Sturgess as a "Korean" in one segment. And I think Halle Berry is playing a white English woman in there as well.
Wow, first footage of the Wachowskis since 1999 probably, introducing the 5 min trailer. Shows how much they're trying to sell this film to the masses. Speaking of which, the imagery is straight out of my mind. I was listening to (possibly the greatest) post-rock band Yndi Halda when reading the book, so their music became my custom soundtrack to Mitchell's trippy masterpiece. Hoping the actual soundtrack lives up to the visuals!
I'm feeling like the end of 2012 is gonna be like the end of 1999 in terms of the glut of insanely ambitious films. This, Life of Pi, The Great Gatsby, Django Unchained, The Master, hell, throw in The Hobbit.
They may all whiff (though that's unlikely with The Master and Django), but fuck if they aren't swinging for the fence.
I think I wanted to cry.
GOD I WANNA SEE THIS. I WANNA SEE THIS. I WANNA SEE THIS SO BAD.
I've missed Bae Doo Na so much. Had no idea she was gonna be in this.
(Prankster... I definitely felt a bit weird with Jim Sturgess's "Asian-eyes")
Yup. Also, (as Ratty and mcnooj mention above) Jim Sturgess plays a Korean dude at one point, Halle Berry plays a white European woman in post-WWI Belgium, and Susan Sarandon underwent heavy makeup to play a pot-bellied, middle-aged Indian man in one section of the film.
Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
But the epic payoff will be drag-queen Hugo Weaving playing the bitchy lady-nurse who torments Jim Broadbent in his nursing home (in the film's "comedic" storyline).
Reportedly, the novel's author David Mitchell is playing a couple of different roles in the movie, as well.
The race blurring is icky for sure, but I'm willing to give it the benefit of the doubt (for now) to wait and see if it's part of the themes or points of the thing (which, from the trailer, it seems to be). But if the movie doesn't pull that shit off, it'll be disappointing.