Co-directors/co-adaptors Tom Tykwer, Lana Wachowski, and Andy Wachowski lend an imaginative set of cinematic wings to author David Mitchell’s fanciful, literate, elliptical, time-traveling novel, and the result is irresistible. Six interlocking tales spanning five centuries; just the right touch of wowie-zowie fx and firefights (from the Matrix siblings, natch); costumes; a huge, well chosen cast (Jim Sturgess, Korean doll-face Doona Bae, Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, the remarkable Hugo Weaving, Hugh Grant, Ben Whishaw, Susan Sarandon, Keith David, James D’Arcy); and a social-struggle through-story that only grows stronger as we weave our way from 19th-century New Zealand to post-apocalyptic Kona. A few words of advice for perplexed auds caught in the crosscutting: Relax. Let the cloud bank surround you. You’ll be happy you did (172 min.)
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Once upon a time in the future.