Country: Canada / Spain / others
Movie Review: Claudia Llosa, the extremely gifted Peruvian filmmaker, whose previous films, “Madeinusa” and “The Milk of Sorrow”, cast some sort of a dazzling spell on me, returns with a permissive drama, “Aloft”, her first English-language film with a few minutes of French, completely shot outside her country - Manitoba, Canada was the chosen place. Set in the Arctic Circle, this is the story of Nana Kunning (Jennifer Connelly), a woman with healing powers who abandoned her son, Ivan (Cillian Murphy), 20 years ago, right after he has been responsible for the death of his gravely ill younger brother in a terrible accident. Nana became a renowned artist and healer while Ivan, left to his own luck with no explanation, followed his passion for birds of prey and became a falconer. The arrival of a journalist, Jannia Rassmore (Mélanie Laurent), who is trying to cope with her own health problems, will provide an opportunity for mother and son reunite again after so many years apart. Soft in its procedures and packed with boring routines and inconsequent romance, “Aloft” was never capable of attaining something distinguishable. The melodrama and the characters are so lifeless and uninspiring that along its first half I had already given my time as wasted. I felt sorry for Llosa since I’m aware of her capabilities. The problem here wasn’t the direction, or the cast, or anything else but the script, whose obstacles are so notorious that it is almost impossible to connect with what the movie is trying to tell us. The icy landscapes and the tolerable performances end up being the less critical aspects in a film whose pretentious enactment was already doomed by a troublingly insecure plot. This is one of those cases we wish the director had never left his roots.