Cloud Atlas (2012)
Director: Lana Wachowski
The best description I have heard of this movie is from a source I cannot recall, but the man (or woman) said about “Cloud Atlas”, that one should imagine a Christmas card written by David Foster Wallace. To those who attempted to read Infinite Jest in their college years to convince themselves they were smarter than they actually were (I am in this group) you will get the reference completely. It is impossible to describe the plot of this movie. The narrative, or narratives, take place over several different periods in history, employ many of the same actors in different roles, and goes back and forth throughout the movie. Tom Hanks and Halle Berry are both good in several different roles, Berry’s best work being done as a journalist in the 1970s and Hanks as a face painted quasi-Neanderthal in prehistoric times. Other parts of the movie happen in the kind of future that was predicted by DFW in a world controlled by corporations, where fast food workers are created in incubators and are conveniently executed and replaced whenever the service becomes sub-par. To reveal the ultimate theme and purpose of all this would be a spoiler in and of itself. That said, I’m torn on what to say about this movie. It was such a monumental effort that it really should be seen. That said, it took me two days to finish watching it because the framework of the movie tried my patience a great deal. Still though, I’m all for unique movies and creative storytelling, and this is nothing if not a good combination of that.