Rating: R for sexuality, nudity and violence
Run Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Oscar winner Charlize Theron’s head was definitely in the clouds when she signed on for this historical romance cum love triangle that can’t see the forest for the trees.
real-life squeeze Stuart Townsend are late 30’s lovers Gilda Bessé and Guy
Malyon. She’s the golden girl, the bohemian heiress blessed with beauty and
brains. He’s the poor Irish son of a
policeman, on scholarship to
passionate affair isn’t enough to keep a girl like Gilda down; she flits off to
Guy moves in and learns to live with Gilda’s unconscionably carefree ways, which include a gorgeous, live-in Spanish model/stripper/revolutionary named Mia (Penelope Cruz). The trio’s tacit ménage-à-trois sprinkles fuel on the fire, but doesn’t kindle more than a few fleeting sparks.
Politics and hedonism make for odd bedfellows, as Guy discovers when he lets his fervent support of the Spanish Civil War interfere with his love life. Mia is also drawn to this irresistible conflict. What’s a nonpartisan girl to do when those she loves most poop out on her for the sake of their principles?
Clouds has all the trappings of a juicy period soap opera, complete with sumptuous period costumes, lavish locations, Franco’s fascists and the WWII German threat thrown in for good measure. But this romantic epic is anything but, desperately tugging at the heartstrings and playing the corny card when the narrative won’t suffice.
Theron is unattainable and unsympathetic; looking out for Number One and eschewing anything meaningful in her life or in her performance. Ditto Townsend, who is wooden throughout. Sigh.