Tom Hanks as Dr. Henry Goose / Isaac Sachs / Dermot Hoggins / Zachry Bailey
Halle Berry as N’Fera / Jocasta Ayrs / Luisa Rey / Ovid / Meronym
Jim Broadbent as Vyvyan Ayrs / Timothy Cavendish / Prescient
Hugo Weaving as Haskell Moore / Tadeusz Kesselring / Bill Smoke / Nurse Noakes / Mephi
Jim Sturgess as Adam Ewing / Lloyd Hooks / Hae-Joo Chang / Adam Bailey
Doona Bae as Tilda Ewing / Mexican Woman / Sonmi-451
Keith David as Kupaka / Joe Napier / An-kor Apis / Prescient
Susan Sarandon as Madame Horrox / Ursula / Abbess
Hugh Grant as Reverend Horrox / Alberto Grimaldi / Seer Rhee / Cannibal
In theaters October 26
“Our lives are not our own. We are bound to others, past and present, and by each crime and every kindness, we birth our future”
Every once in a while a film comes along that changes your perception of what a motion picture can be, and makes you stop in awe and wonder. “Cloud Atlas” is that film.
“Cloud Atlas” is an epic intertwining of six stories past, present, and future. Each story intersects with the other creating an ongoing, compelling tale. Even though these are different time periods and stories, somehow the parts make a connection into one narrative. These stories span the globe and span the boundaries of time and even space.
The official synopsis for “Cloud Atlas” describes the film as “an epic story of humankind in which the actions and consequences of our lives impact one another throughout the past, present, and future as one soul is shaped from a murderer into a savior and a single act of kindness ripples out for centuries to inspire a revolution.”
The first story begins with a young man seeking a doctor’s help in 1849 in the pacific seas, and then continues on to 1936 Cambridge where a young musician and an aging composer create a masterpiece, to 1973 San Francisco where an investigative reporter and a whistleblower try to uncover a nuclear power company’s insidious plot, to present day where a publisher who gets himself into a sticky situation is falsely exiled to a nursing home, to 2144 Neo Korea where a cloned service worker is given the chance to take a stand and rebel against the fascist totalitarian government that created her and exploits her kind, to a time unknown far into a tribal post apocalyptic future where a man must trust his instincts to help a young woman save her people.
Each character’s journey is somehow a part of the other. Each character’s soul is inexplicably connected to each other throughout time. “Cloud Atlas” is a rich tapestry, so visually stunning and breathtaking. You’re drawn into this universe, more like a celebration of the human spirit, on so many levels. It’s a thriller, it’s a comedy of errors, it’s a love story, and it’s a sci-fi epic. Each actor plays at least three or more characters in any given story or scenario. Even here, the boundaries are bent.
In one reality the actor’s character may be male but in the next portrayal, the character may be female or vice versa – a few of them switch race, as well. Halle Berry goes from Black woman to a little old Asian man. Korean actress, Doona Bae is transformed into a Caucasian woman with red hair and freckles. Hugh Grant transforms from corporate slime ball to a painted, knife-wielding cannibal. I have to give it up to the makeup department working on this film. I would be surprised if there weren’t any Oscar® nominations in their future. In some cases the transformations are so subtle, you aren’t even aware of them. As the credits are presented at the end of the film and you get to see just who was who, you will be pleasantly surprised.
It’s amazing to see just how talented these actors are as they embrace so many different roles. As Tom Hanks said in a recent interview, “this is like doing three seasons of Repertory Theater. Six parts a piece all in one movie!”
Based on the bestselling novel by David Mitchell, “Cloud Atlas” is co-written and co-directed by Tom Tykwer (“Run Lola Run”) and the Wachowskis Lana and Andy (“The Matrix Trilogy”). This film is so large in scope, human experience, and visualization, the only word to describe it is epic. This movie is unique – it is unlike any you will ever see and it compels you to see it again and again. Please do not miss this film!