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MatchFlick Member Reviews
Head in the Clouds
3 reviews

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Directed By
John Duigan

Charlize Theron, Stuart Townsend, Penelope Cruz

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Head in the Clouds (2004)
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Movie Review by Luis Pedron
July 8th, 2007

Charlize Angel

"Head in the Clouds" is Charlize Theron's post-Oscar Win movie. Charlize plays Gilda Besse, the hedonistic, socialistic and stylistic main character in pre World War 2 Paris, giving us a glimpse of how the rich and famous of that era can play mind games, control friends and family, and sometimes their fate. Charlize towered literally and figuratively over co-stars Matt LeBlanc look-alike Stuart Townsend (Guy) and exotic ex-Tom Cruise squeeze Penelope Cruz.

Ms. Theron stood out in each scene, glammed to the max but through her power she showed vulnerability. One scene personifies this – when the freedom fighter Townsend returns from Spain, the 2 leads make passionate love. Post-coitus, Townsend freaks out on her as she gives him a painfully effective non-verbal "I love you but I have to let you go" look. I was disappointed to see Townsend unable to return a more vulnerable reaction to Theron.

Penelope Cruz (Mia) plays Charlize's protégé. Penelope naturally oozes sexiness and intrigue but I usually have a problem with her English line delivery. I could just imagine how much more effective she would be if she could deliver her lines in Spanish.

John Guigan's direction is very intriguing. I like the way all of his character's start acting juvenile as they become part of Gilda's circle. It depicts a certain superficiality of high society and that they are stuck in that juvenile demeanor, "always young, we will live forever." It was also a relief to hear characters talk in their native tongue, the German soldiers spoke in German and as the charcters are in Paris, they spoke French....Through the magnificent stylized Photography work of Paul Sarossy, Guigan's took advantage of the beauty and talents of the leads. They emphasized the puppy eyes of Townsend, they portrayed the colorful high society Europe through the great Production Design of Jonathan Lee and took advantage of the beautiful faces of Charlize and Penelope through meticulous make–up and perfect lighting, which was beneficial for the two because we concentrated on their facial emotions.

I was wondering how it would have been if the original actress Natalie Portman played Gilda Besse. I wonder how the film would have looked like if it was shot in Montreal rather than being shot in London and Paris as this film was. But, the movie I saw satisfied my filmic needs. I usually have to feel something as I leave the theater. The movie is not as perfect as the epic "English Patient." But I think, its strongest point is having the Hollywood Icon – Charlize Theron as the head liner. She proved that she can not only carry the story through her beauty, glamour and body ( which you see in a very sexy bath tub scene ) but because she can carry a movie and make the story mill around her and at the end inspite of playing the "Paris Hiltonesque" character at the end I felt a warm feeling I can not explain in my heart and just wispered, "wow Charlize really rocks!" Charlize Theron has proven herself Oscar worthy, she carried the movie up to the hilt, up to the clouds.

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