I wonder what the author David Mitchell would have thought if, nine years ago, someone had told him that 'Cloud Atlas' would be turned into a commercial movie starring Tom Hanks, Hugh Grant and Halle Berry, directed by the people who made 'The Matrix Reloaded'.
I know what I would have thought.
But I watched the film and for all its flaws, it was a triumph. I managed to forget that Tom Hanks was Tom Hanks. Hugh Grant, freed from the tyranny of having to play caricatures of himself, showed that he could really act. As for Halle Berry, she was magnificent.
I'd always assumed that Cloud Atlas was unfilmable, but apparently I was wrong:
My one bugbear was with the narrative structure, which chopped David Mitchell's six stories up into a mosaic of brief scenes that randomly jumped from the middle of the 19th century to the distant future. At first it was exhilarating, then it began to grate. In an ideal world, the DVD will contain an alternative version that re-edits the footage in a way that's more faithful to the novel.
But I'm still bowled-over by the spectacle of seeing the realisation of a book I'd regarded as being completely impossible to film. It probably helped that the cast also included Jim Broadbent, Ben Wishaw, Hugo Weaving and James D'Arcy. But in spite of that, it could have still been exercrably awful.
Now that my prejudices have been cast aside, I'm looking forward to Tom Hanks in Ulysses, complete with dodgy Oirish accent.