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Berlin Review: Claudia Llosa’s ‘Aloft’ Starring Jennifer Connelly, Cillian Murphy & Melanie Laurent

  • By Jessica Kiang
  • |
  • February 13, 2014 11:05 AM
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Aloft, Jennifer Connelly
Forgiveness, faith and falconry are among the motifs that run through Peruvian director Claudia Llosa’s first English-language film “Aloft,” which premieres at the Berlin Film Festival this week. Like her previous two features—debut “Madeinusa” and Golden Bear-winning follow-up “The Milk Of Sorrow”—“Aloft” boasts Llosa’s exceptionally lyrical eye for cinematography and her unassailable ability to create a haunted, slightly otherworldly atmosphere even out of banal events. But “Aloft” and its icy landscapes and feel of gently dropping barometric pressure can only distract so far from what is essentially an overwrought melodrama that here and there tips over into heavy-handedness despite the restrained beauty of its images. In fact, the lingering mood and the committed performances almost act as a smokescreen: it may not be until you’re out the door and across the road thinking back on what you’ve just watched that you realize how, well, daft it all is.

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