7.7/10
6,299
23 user 22 critic

Drifting Clouds (1996)

Kauas pilvet karkaavat (original title)
Not Rated | | Comedy, Drama | 10 July 1998 (USA)
The recession hits a couple in Helsinki.

Director:

Aki Kaurismäki

Writer:

Aki Kaurismäki
Reviews
10 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

In Helsinki, a lonely night watchman is caught up in a series of misadventures with a femme fatale and a crooked businessman.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Janne Hyytiäinen, Maria Järvenhelmi, Maria Heiskanen
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

The second part of Aki Kaurismäki's "Finland" trilogy, the film follows a man who arrives in Helsinki and gets beaten up so severely he develops amnesia. Unable to remember his name or ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Markku Peltola, Kati Outinen, Annikki Tähti
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Three struggling artists try to make passable livings in Paris despite knock backs and tragedies.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Evelyne Didi, André Wilms
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Lugubrious Finns Valto and Reino take to the road in search of coffee and vodka, without which their lives are not worth living. But their reveries are interrupted by the arrival of ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Matti Pellonpää, Kirsi Tykkyläinen
Juha (1999)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A farmer's wife is seduced into running away from her stolid older husband by a city slicker, who enslaves her in a brothel.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Sakari Kuosmanen, Kati Outinen, André Wilms
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An episode in the life of Nikander, a garbage man, involving the death of a coworker, a love affair and much more.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Matti Pellonpää, Kati Outinen, Sakari Kuosmanen
Drama | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A woman's terribly dull life is upended by a one-night stand pregnancy, causing her to seek retribution.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Kati Outinen, Elina Salo, Esko Nikkari
Ariel (1988)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A Finnish man goes to the city to find a job after the mine where he worked is closed and his father commits suicide.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Turo Pajala, Susanna Haavisto, Matti Pellonpää
Le Havre (2011)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When an African boy arrives by cargo ship in the port city of Le Havre, an aging shoe shiner takes pity on the child and welcomes him into his home.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: André Wilms, Blondin Miguel, Jean-Pierre Darroussin
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An exodus to a better life in Eira

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Timo Eränkö, Kari Heiskanen, Asmo Hurula
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

After fifteen years' service, Henri Boulanger is made redundant from his job. Shocked, he attempts suicide, but can't go through with it, so he hires a contract killer in a seedy bar to ... See full summary »

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Jean-Pierre Léaud, Margi Clarke, Kenneth Colley
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

An adaptation of Dostoyevsky's novel, set in modern Helsinki. Slaughterhouse worker Rahikainen murders a man, and is forced to live with the consequences of his actions.

Director: Aki Kaurismäki
Stars: Markku Toikka, Aino Seppo, Esko Nikkari
Edit

Cast

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

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

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

Finland | Germany | France

Language:

Finnish

Release Date:

10 July 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Drifting Clouds See more »

Filming Locations:

Punavuori, Helsinki, Finland See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

FIM5,562,154 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was originally meant to be a direct sequel to Shadows in Paradise (1986), with Matti Pellonpää reprising his famous role as Nikander. Since Pellonpää died during pre-production, Aki Kaurismäki rewrote the entire script. However, the characters played by Kati Outinen and Sakari Kuosmanen still retain the names they had in the previous film (Ilona and Melartin, respectively). See more »

Quotes

Ilona: I started as a dishwasher, then kitchen maid, then waiter until I got to be a head waiter. I could still be a waiter.
Ravintolapäällikkö (restaurant manager): I understand: but I can't help you... to be honest, you're too old for a waiter.
Ilona: I'm thirty-eight.
Ravintolapäällikkö (restaurant manager): There you go. You could drop dead any moment.
Ilona: You're over fifty yourself!
Ravintolapäällikkö (restaurant manager): That's different. I got contacts - and you smoke. You got life insurance?
Ilona: You wanna arm wrestle?
See more »

Connections

References L'Atalante (1934) See more »

Soundtracks

Pilvet karkaa, niin minäkin
Music by Jani Uhlenius
Lyrics by Jarkko Laine
Performed by Rauli Somerjoki
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A winning tale about "losers"
12 July 2007 | by MaxBorg89See all my reviews

Aside from Leningrad Cowboys Meet Moses, Aki Kaurismäki has never done any real sequels to his films (even though Shadows in Paradise featured one of the minor characters from Crime and Punishment). Drifting Clouds, the first entry in the acclaimed "losers" trilogy, was meant to be an exception, the script having been written specifically as a follow-up to Shadows. Sadly, Matti Pellonpää, who was eager to reprise his role as Nikander, died shortly before filming began, thus abruptly ending a working relationship with the director which had lasted 11 years and 8 movies (The Match Factory Girl and I Hired a Contract Killer were the only ones in which he did not appear prior to his death), prompting Kaurismäki to change the screenplay.

Nonetheless, there are still traces of the original project in the finished film, namely the characters played by Kati Outinen (who became the new protagonist of the story) and Sakari Kuosmanen, who retain the names they had in Shadows: Ilona and Melartin. They both work at a restaurant called Dubrovnik (as maitre d' and waiter respectively), under the supervision of Mrs. Sjöholm (Elina Salo). There are no major problems in the workplace, the only occasional disturbance being the alcohol-induced antics of the cook Lajunen (Markku Peltola, who later played the lead in the trilogy's second act, The Man Without a Past). Then one day Mrs. Sjöholm announces the restaurant is being handed over to a new proprietor, meaning the old staff's services are no longer required. Everyone faces unemployment their own way: Lajunen buries himself in booze ("Where are you going?" he gets asked one evening; "As far as the Kossu lasts" he replies, referring to Finland's most popular drink) and Melartin starts looking for another job, while Ilona is confident her husband's income will be enough for the two to lead a decent life. Unfortunately, Lauri (Kari Väänänen) loses his job as well, causing despair and frustration as his wife tries to come up with a solution that could satisfy everybody.

As usual, Kaurismäki depicts contemporary Finnish society with a very pessimistic eye, never once flinching away from the sadness of the situation. The high point of this is reached in Esko Nikkari's cameo, a scene drenched in cynicism and cruelly black humor where the great character actor tells Outinen (always at her best in these pictures) that once you're past the age of 30, you're completely worthless in the business world. "You're 56" she reminds him; "Yes, but I have connections" comes the painfully dry answer. It's a dramatic sequence which reflects what really goes on in the world every day, albeit filtered through Kaurismäki's peculiar view on life.

And yet, for all the misery that permeates the picture, Drifting Clouds is actually the most optimistic of the "losers" films: perhaps remembering what the movie was originally meant to be, the director fills almost every frame (minus the Nikkari scene) with gags, in order to lighten the mood. And the conclusion stands out as one of the most cheerful Kaurismäki has ever shot, maybe because that is the kind of ending in which Pellonpää, to whom the film is dedicated, would have given another of his understated, hugely affecting, unforgettable performances.


15 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed