| Five For The Diary: Smart Sci-Fi Movies|
The science fiction thrillers headed our way
3. Cloud Atlas WHY YOU SHOULD CARE Six stories stacked like Russian dolls, a central cast that crops up again and again throughout the millennia covered by the whole, and a whole heap of wigs and prosthetics. The latest effort from the Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer is the adaptation of one of those books that’s supposed to be thoroughly unfilmable – and with good reason, given its structure and chronologically complex plot.
So there’s a bit set in the Pacific in the 1800s, a segment in 1930s Belgium, a section in 1970s California, a near-contemporary sort of gangster tale, a dystopian near-future full of cyborgs and a distant, post-apocalyptic future where humanity has descended to barbarism. And amid all of this there are Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Hugh Grant, Hugo Weaving, Jim Sturgess, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon and James D’Arcy.
Ambitious is the correct description, in other words. But if they miraculously do make this work, what other unfilmable sci-fi awaits? Could we see some of Iain M. Banks’ weirder Culture novels? Might China Mieville hit the screen? Is it possible that we could one day see a Dune worthy of the name? Probably not – but we’re still very intrigued by Cloud Atlas, and optimistic after that epic 5-minute trailer.
SEE ALSO Twelve Monkeys, for sci-fi that will likewise bake your noodle, or 2001: A Space Odyssey for a similarly ambitious scope