|"Cloud Atlas" joins these adaptations some people believed couldn't be
By James Rocchi
Special to MSN Movies
Published in 2004, author David Mitchell's "Cloud Atlas" featured intertwined
characters living in six separate timelines, with important thematic and
symbolic connections weaving between them. Reviewers and readers were rapturous
and impressed by a dizzying set of structural games and puzzles that both
demanded and rewarded close reading. When Lana and Andy Wachowski of the
"Matrix" trilogy and "Speed Racer" announced that they were bringing the book to
the screen alongside "Run Lola Run" director Tom Tykwer, the question was almost
less how they could pull it off than if they could. According to those lucky
enough to have seen the film at the Toronto International Film Festival or
Austin's Fantastic Fest, they succeeded. Or came closer, in their way, than any
other directors or director might have. In a recent essay for the New York
Times, Mitchell noted that, "Wherever the 'Cloud Atlas' screenplay differed from
the novel, it did so for sound reasons that left me more impressed than piqued."
Bing: Watch a trailer for 'Cloud Atlas' | Read reviews for 'Cloud Atlas'
The challenge of adapting an "unfilmable" book has played a siren-like song
for many directors actors and producers, with the promise of glory in victory
balanced against the greater possibility of foundering and then sinking. We
thought we'd share the past efforts of great directors eager for a challenge,
and lesser-known talents hungry for success, to bring "unfilmable" books to the
big screen. For more movie news, follow MSN Movies on Facebook and Twitter.