As war clouds gather over Europe, a free-spirited socialite and her two lovers live a life of pleasure and privilege until the Spanish Civil War tears them apart. Starring Charlize Theron and Penelope Cruz.
It had some solid scenes and parts of the plotline but it was not my type of movie. Maybe, you will like it better.
Torkel E. (Torbjorn) from FAIRHOPE, AL Reviewed on 3/16/2013...
I really liked this movie what the ending was so sad.
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The Party's Over
Vince Perrin | Stockton, CA USA | 11/25/2005
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Head in the Clouds" is Charlize Theron's during World War II. While her male and female lovers (Stuart Townsend, Penelope Cruz) fret about fascism in Spain and the collapse of The Third Republic, Charlize lives for the pleasures she savors. As Europe is overtaken by war, Theron adapts to whatever will keep her in cafe society, which in occupied Paris means sleeping with Nazis. Her lovers decamp for Spain to fight Franco and Theron moves in with a kindly torturer. Her English lover returns as a resistance fighter and time runs out for our darling dilettante.
Period music, locations, costumes and sets are all lovingly recreated. That can't be said for the script. The actors are beautiful until they start to speak. Cruz is the only one who conveys any depth or conviction. This movie, if you can't tell by now, ends badly for everyone. Crucial information is withheld to provide a surprise ending that fails to deliver. The good intentions of "Head in the Clouds" make its failures more noticeable. You want to like this movie but its surfaces won't let you. "
"Paris, the always shining beacon of the world, is the frame of this interesting and painful portrait around the lives and times of three outlaw human beings: the most liberal of all of them, the authentic center of gravity of manners, tastes and behavior: Charlize Theron plays Gilda, the irreverence made woman, who has given shelter to a nurse - Penelope Cruz - and has allowed her to go ahead with her bliss and dreams. Both of them lives the convulsed and fabulous thirties, where the Charleston and jazz sounds were emerging with particular emphasis. Her brief stage in Cambridge, allows her to meet a very special man, who eventually will become the love of her life.
This unlimited happiness will be interrupted by the war, attending the call of the conscious, curiously. She as a nurse and he, as sensible human being feel that their happy state of life is not in harmony with a bleeding world; in the neighbor country Spain: The Civil War is a very hard reality to ignore it. That fact will break this curious triangle and both of them will become protagonists of this drama.
Charlize is absolutely devastated in this sense, but this emotional crossroad, this existential dilemma will transform her, leaving behind all the selfishness and she will do her best, according her possibilities to contribute the cause against the world of shadows.
A convincing script with certain narrative pauses, but with enough rhythmic pulse to arrive to a crude but satisfactory conclusion. Charlize Theron was marvelous and credible. Her kaleidoscopic beauty allows her to combine several behaviors: as femme fatale, alluring lover and elusively enigmatic character.
Filmed with a visible inspirational European flavor, that reminded me to Claude Sautet. "
Beautiful: A work of poetry
Jacqueline Marcus | Hanalei, Kauai USA | 06/02/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I've read the negative reviews on this film, which convinces me that film critics are so used to the garbage of cheap sex and violence that they can't recognize a diamond in the rust if they tried.
"Head in the Clouds" kept me there every second of the way. Maybe that's because I have the sensibilities of a poet and I'm a philosophy teacher. Maybe this film will not appeal to morons, but it will appeal to intellectuals and artists. So, yes, it's not for everyone. One has to have a degree of intelligence and the passions of a poet to see the value of this film.
As for Stuart Townsend and Charlize Theron, I thought Stuart Townsend MADE this film come to life. He was brilliant! And absolutely convincing in every single second of this film. And Theron was equally captivating.
Let's remember, folks, the critics dumped on "Doctor Zhivago". Now they look like the fools that they are -- because everyone knows it's a work of genius and a classic. Maybe "Head in the Clouds" isn't quite Zhivago, but it deserves praise and certainly does NOT deserve to be judged by swine and morons."
Generally fun to watch, but it's dull in parts
M. J Leonard | Silver Lake, Los Angeles, CA United States | 01/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Head in the Clouds was absolutely hammered by the critics when it came out last year - somewhat unjustifiably. The movie really isn't that bad - Dr. Zhivago it is not, but it is certainly better than some of the trash coming out of Hollywood. Yes - there are lots of dull bits, and the film is about thirty minutes too long, but visually The Head in the Clouds is just gorgeous, and Charlize Theron looks so glamorous, that the Director John Duigan could probably be forgiven for churning out a film that is kind of hokey and B-grade art house. Even the love scenes between Charlize and her real life beau Steward Townsend have a kind of fake, staged period falseness to them, coming across as mildly titillating soft core cable porn for the Merchant Ivory set, than fully fledged genuine eroticism.
The narrative follows the lives of three people during the tumultuous 1920's and 1930's. The film begins in Cambridge as Guy, (Townsend) - an aspiring young writer, amateur boxer, and political idealist - meets the beautiful, wealthy Gilda (Theron). Gilda - a self-described "modern" woman - is a reckless hedonist, who lives purely for pleasure and self-satisfaction. The daughter of an American socialite and a French champagne tycoon, she refuses to celebrate birthdays, dabbles in professional photography, and firmly believes that one should look out for oneself first. Guy and Gilda have a passionate affair, but Gilda's freewheeling spirit (and her newly-found inheritance) gives her the wonder lust. They stay in touch, however, and reconnect in the arty Paris of the 1930's, just before the German occupation.
By now Gilda is heavily involved with Mia, (Penelope Cruz), a sexy, crippled Spanish exotic dancer, and the three of them settle into a comfortable, bohemian ménage à trios. But Gilda's non-committal attitudes towards sex, politics, and the rapidly changing world, lead to a rift between all three. The core of the film evolves around how they negotiate through such tumultuous territory, as Guy and Mia are both idealists and are dedicated to fighting with the republication revolution in the Spanish Civil War, much to Gilda's dismay and disgust. Gilda's unabashed selfishness and her commitment to self-preservation at whatever cost ultimately gets her into all sorts of trouble, with Guy, with Europe's encroaching totalitarian regimes, and with the French resistance.
Divided into three parts and taking place in three different countries - England, Spain and France - A Head in the Clouds certainly has pretensions towards romantic greatness, but the movie heavily emphasizes the visual - mostly in the form of sexy, colourful set pieces - over astute character development, a tight plot, and a strong script. The actors are all adequate in their roles, and the breathtaking Theron, looks as glamorous as any actress could be, but she can't carry the movie just on glamour alone. The story lumbers and drags, becoming more convoluted as the film progresses, and there's a whole messy subplot involving Guy, the French resistance, and the explosion of a Nazi train that goes on forever and adds absolutely nothing to the main story.
However, the movie is fun to watch for Theron's antics, her assorted hairstyles, and the way she wraps men (and women) around her finger. Her hedonistic egotism is ironically the key to her growth and security, and it is ultimately this self-centeredness that is her undoing. A Head in the Clouds had a lot of potential to be a great movie - it is certainly good in parts, and deals with issues such as idealism, loyalty, and the choices people make in times of war. But the movie all too often gets sidetracked into unintentional camp, and it eventually becomes side splittingly funny when it's not really supposed to be. Mike Leonard January 05. "
Not Duigan's Best
Lizzie McCord | San Diego, Ca | 09/26/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was hoping that this movie would be in the same league as "The Year My Voice Broke" and its sequel, "Flirting". It's not. It's an okay movie although too long and convoluted and the character development never quite comes together. Duigan's talent is better suited to stories about younger characters and less exotic storylines. None of the performances are more than average. Wait for the video. Better yet, go rent "Flirting" if you haven't seen it - doesn't have the big name stars but has a lot more heart and is beautifully written and acted. Duigan made a movie with Elle McPherson(the supermodel) in it a while back and I left that movie, like this one, feeling that his ideas about sex and romance are oddly teenage. Not very interesting to watch unless you're of the same mindset!"