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Drifting Clouds (1996)
"Kauas pilvet karkaavat" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  10 July 1998 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 4,145 users  
Reviews: 19 user | 18 critic

The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Ilona
Kari Väänänen ...
Lauri
Elina Salo ...
Rouva Sjöholm (Mrs. Sjöholm)
Sakari Kuosmanen ...
Melartin
...
Lajunen
Matti Onnismaa ...
Forsström
Matti Pellonpää ...
Lapsi valokuvassa (Child in the Photograph)
Pietari ...
Pietari
...
Pianisti (Pianist)
Markus Allan ...
Orkesteri (Band)
Pauli Granfelt ...
Orkesteri (Band)
Kari Lindqvist ...
Orkesteri (Band)
Pentti Mutikainen ...
Orkesteri (Band)
Tommi Parkkonen ...
Orkesteri (Band)
Taisto Wesslin ...
Orkesteri (Band)
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Storyline

Tram driver Lauri loses his job. Shortly later, the restaurant where his wife Ilona works as a head waitress is closed. Too proud to receive money from the social welfare system, they strive to find new jobs. But they are completely unlucky and clumsy, one disaster is followed by the next. Written by Frank Wallner <wallnerf@informatik.tu-muenchen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

proud | tram driver | tram | work | waitress | See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Drifting Clouds  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

FIM 5,562,154 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

ITL 394,049,000 (Italy) (2 May 1997)

Gross:

ITL 979,201,000 (Italy) (6 June 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

|

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Dedicated to the memory of Matti Pellonpää (who was frequently cast by director Aki Kaurismäki) for whom the main role was originally intended. The child who can be seen in the photo is Pellonpää, a homage. See more »

Quotes

Restaurant chief: [Ilona is applying a new job] To be honest, you're beginning to be too old.
Ilona: I'm 36.
Restaurant chief: You can pass away at any time.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Matka suomalaiseen elokuvaan: Kaupunkiblues (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Milonga
Music and arrangement by Antero Jakoila
Performed by Ensemble Antero Jakoila
See more »

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User Reviews

Pictures from Finland...
17 April 2004 | by (Helsinki, Finland) – See all my reviews

I never used to like Kaurismäki films, mainly because I didn't understand them and thought they were boring. I have since then changed my mind. The thing with Kaurismäki films is that you can watch them without understanding them and still like them or you can understand them and not like them etc. each in their own way. However, they are not these artsy-films that only critics love and everyone else hates. Drifting Clouds is Finnish life that has been made a parody but it's not mocking Finnish life. There are people like Lauri and Ilona. Lauri as played by Kari Väänänen is a very typical Finnish male in a way he behaves. He may not say much, but you just know that he really loves Ilona. And no matter how Lauri behaves, Ilona loves Lauri as well. You don't need a million 'I love You's to get the message through, just take a look at his body-language.

In the beginning of the film, Lauri has just bought a new TV (with colours) on part payment. They have a similar plan for the sofa and the bookshelf - as Lauri optimistically puts it: In four years time they can afford to buy books as well. Then they both lose their jobs because of recession. Getting job is difficult, Ilona is being told that she starts to be a bit too old being a waiter,she's 38 (wonderful scene with Esko Nikkari) and Lauri has medical problems. Too proud to go and get unemployment benefit, Lauri says something like I don't beg, I am me... which reminds me of another Kaurismäki film, Calamari Union where one of the characters called Frank as played by Kari Väänänen says something like I don't drive buses, I am me.. Well anyway, back to Drifting clouds.. so yes, they continue their quest for employment. The characters in the film don't talk very much, and at first it really bothered me that they didn't sound natural at all, but I actually know people who speak less than that and it's completely natural! I loved the scene in the breakfast table when Lauri is preparing to take the dog out - he finishes his coffee, says that he's going now, Ilona replies simply 'Good' then Lauri asks whether he should take the rubbish out as well and once again Ilona gives a very minimalistic reply saying 'Take'. It works beautifully and though it might seem funny to foreign ears, it's normal to have such conversations in Finland. The ending gives hope and is very optimistic but not in the Hollywood sense of the word! Great songs throughout the film which really echo the feelings of the characters (too bad the songs have not been subtitled - they could have since in some scenes the characters speaks so little!)

I think this is a fantastic film. Both Kari Väänänen and Kati Outinen are great. The film is dedicated to Matti Pellonpää (little boy in one photo) who was supposed to have starred in the film, but sadly he died before they started to film this...well, he wasn't the first Finnish person to drink himself to death..

watch it on DVD!


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