Go see Cloud Atlas. Now.

Despite mostly rave reviews, Cloud Atlas has failed to pull in much money at the box office.  That seems a shame for a big-budget movie with a cast full of famous actors that also happens to be the best movie I have ever seen and the only movie I have seen twice in the theaters in one week.  It is also the only movie that had tears running down my cheeks for about 20 minutes.  So, my small audience of perhaps three, give the Wachowskis some of your money and prove to Hollywood that we the people are willing to support more than just superhero, vampire, and pirate stories.

Cloud Atlas is a movie unlike any other.  It weaves six equally stunning narratives set in three past times, one present, and two future times into a plot that is ultimately about the interconnectedness of human lives, and the ways in which all of our actions and choices are both influenced by the past and influence the lives of those in the future.  There is something about the premise that every action is meaningful and interconnected that rings true to my soul and touches my heart more than any simple love story ever could.

There is no time travel, with all of its impossible paradoxes, but there is an undercurrent of reincarnation, suggested by having the same actors play different roles in different times, and especially by Tom Hanks who plays a murderous doctor in 1849 but overcomes his demons to become a hero in the far distant future (~2342).  The movie also manages to incorporate plenty of action (and some fighting) without becoming dualistic.  Each period has its dark characters (many played by Hugo Weaving i.e. Elrond, Agent Smith), but there is no coherent evil that stretches across time.  Rather, we see that even when lives end without apparent resolution, the grand story marches onward and the products of all lives become woven in.

Story aside, Cloud Atlas is a cinematic work of art, showcasing the flexibility of its actors as well as beautiful sets and Matrix-esque action in the future scenes.  Parts of it will have you laughing, parts will have you crying, and if you watch closely you will notice both the endless web of interconnections (follow the blue stone and the birthmarks) and some Easter Eggs (future movies in “3x4x3D”, future religion whose deity was birthed by a “god o’ smart named Darwin”).  Andy and Lana spent $100 million putting this together, and so far they’ve only got about half of that back.  So treat yourself to a life-affirming three-hour masterpiece and support one of the few truly visionary teams of directors in Hollywood.

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