What a sexy duet, Charlize Theron and Penélope Cruz, I guess they are pretty much everyone’s reason to watch this romantic movie, including me. This is a guilty pleasure movie, much like all those Emily Bronte incarnations running incessantly on British television, because sometimes you want to see some structure. This time, a love triangle during the war is actually an interesting premise. Considering that Hugh Grant was set to star, you already see where this is going. One of those safe, mainstream movies with a background vibe of seriousness because of the war. Shot in London, Cambridge, Montreal, and Paris, Head in the Clouds features sleek cinematography, taking the viewer back to one of the bloodiest periods of our history only to look at it from a different perspective. Characters here are living out their lives fully aware that there’s a war going on, but still trying to not let it influence their behavior and ultimately their wishes.
Meet Gilda Bessé, the daughter of a French aristocrat who’s looking for love. A chance encounter with a young student at Cambridge soon develops into something too serious for Gilda, but the death of her mother breaks up this relationship. A few years later, that young Cambridge student that goes by the name of Guy Malyon is all grown up but still remembers Gilda and their time together. Then he sees her and everything changes…
Charlize Theron carried this movie home and if she wasn’t this good, Head in the Clouds would be another generic romantic drama. Just one year earlier she shot Monster and won the Academy Award, Silver Bear, Golden Globe Award, and Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Actress. Beautiful and deadly. She was left with a pretty wobbly dialogue here, along with the rest of the cast, but the movie never shies away from its original premise of a romance and, there I say, melodrama. We all know what we’re getting into and are willing to let our heads float in the clouds, forgetting formulaic and cliched plot. Big budget enabled great costumes, set design and many more things because they wanted to make an epic with love, war, resistance all intertwined. They may have failed at the epic part, but to call this movie bad would be a mistake.
Director: John Duigan
Cast: Charlize Theron, Penélope Cruz, Stuart Townsend, Gabriel Hogan, Thomas Kretschmann
Fun Facts: The film opened on only ten screens in the United States, and earned 46,133 dollars.