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'Cloud Atlas' Review and Roundup: And Now for Something Completely Different

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood September 14, 2012 at 1:29PM

One Toronto movie met mixed response but was a delirious joyride for me: "Cloud Atlas." Truth is, except for the flat "V for Vendetta" and the final pixel-fucked "Matrix" movie, I've admired all of the Wachowskis' output, even "Speed Racer." These filmmakers have it all: strong writing chops, an instinct for entertaining audiences, and compelling visual style.
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Lana and Andy Wachowski
The New Yorker Lana and Andy Wachowski

Guardian: "At 163 minutes Cloud Atlas carries all the marks of a giant folly, and those unfamiliar with the book will be baffled. Yet it's hard to wholly condemn the directors' ambition - this is fast-paced and cleverly assembled, with the best of the performances shining through the prosthetics (Hugh Grant makes great play of the clutch of villains he's dealt). The Tykwer/Wachowski collective offer everything here. Chances are there's something in the hodgepodge for you."

HitFix: "These stories push moral and ethical buttons in some unusual and even oblique ways, and there is plenty of room in the film for every viewer to have a different experience with what they see.  There's a sense of trust on the part of the filmmakers that the audience will be willing to work for the pleasures that are strewn throughout, and there's also a deeply heartfelt optimism even in the film's darkest moments that makes it stand apart from the typical dystopian vision of most modern science fiction."

This article is related to: Toronto International Film Festival, Wachowskis, Tom Tykwer, Cloud Atlas, Reviews, Reviews, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Festivals, Festivals


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.