6.6/10
14,646
71 user 45 critic

Head in the Clouds (2004)

Trailer
2:22 | Trailer
From the roaring 1920s to the ruinous Spanish Civil War and Adolf Hitler's rise into power, the lives of an Irish schoolteacher, a provocative heiress and her Spanish muse are intricately interlaced, sharing the same destiny and passion.

Director:

John Duigan

Writer:

John Duigan
7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Charlize Theron ... Gilda Bessé
Penélope Cruz ... Mia
Stuart Townsend ... Guy Malyon
Thomas Kretschmann ... Frans Bietrich
Steven Berkoff ... Charles Bessé
David La Haye ... Lucien
Karine Vanasse ... Lisette
Gabriel Hogan ... Julian Elsworth
Peter Cockett Peter Cockett ... Max
Élizabeth Chouvalidzé ... Fortune Teller
Jolyane Langlois Jolyane Langlois ... Gilda, Age 14
Sophie Desmarais ... Élodie
Éloïsa Laflamme-Cervantes Éloïsa Laflamme-Cervantes ... Julie
Ivan Vukov Ivan Vukov ... Undergraduate #1
Sebastian Bailey Sebastian Bailey ... Undergraduate #2
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Storyline

On a rainy night in 1933, the young, rebellious and provocative heiress of a French champagne magnate, Gilda Bessé, storms into the quiet life of the timid Oxford undergraduate, Guy Malyon, taking him by surprise. And before he knows it, Guy is love-smitten, and taken in the Parisian apartment of the now famous photographer, Gilda, living under the same roof with her muse and Spanish political idealist, Mia. However, as Spain gradually succumbs to the Nationalists, Mia and Guy's commitment to the cause of the Spanish Republic will threaten to break up their bohemian and almost idyllic coexistence. In the end, as Adolf Hitler rises into power, can a war-torn Europe separate the three companions forever? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

In a city of glamour at a time of decadence they met. An aristocrat, a soldier of conscience, and an entertainer. Together they shared a deep passion. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance | War

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality, nudity and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film opened on only ten screens in the United States, and earned 46,133 dollars. See more »

Quotes

Charles Bessé: If you are afraid of birthdays already, you'll be a wreck when you're my age...
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Connections

Referenced in La bisexualité: tout un art? (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

My Girl's Pussy
Anonymous
Produced by Jean Robitaille
Performed by John Duigan
Courtesy of HITC Productions Inc.
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User Reviews

 
A Major Movie - A Must See - How did I not hear of it?
9 July 2006 | by bgc-4See all my reviews

Given the wonderful quality of Head In The Clouds I don't know how I never heard of it until I stumbled over it on the Netflix web page and decided to rent it.

This is a major movie. It is an emotionally powerful movie. It has a huge scope both in time and space, historical accuracy, an excellent, and at times complex, script, outstanding performances by all concerned, great direction, and superb cinematography. I loved it and I cried at the end.

Charlize Theron was fantastic as Gilda. I have known people such as the character she played and she had it just right. With her body language she told us she was rich, talented, cynical, very loyal to her real friends, and in the end so very brave. Her voice is such that sometimes I think she is channeling Theresa Russell.

Stuart Townsend played his part of a quiet underclass Belfast Irishman, Guy, perfectly. Some reviewers were disappointed that his performance wasn't stronger. Hey, Rambo wouldn't have survived long as a British operative in Nazi occupied Paris. Townsend triumphs in subtlety and his character narrates some of the story.

Penelope Cruz was perfect as Mia, who had been physically injured by Fascists in Spain when they came to take her brother away, presumably to be executed given that the time immediately preceded the Spanish Civil War of the 1930's.

Thomas Kretschmann is brilliant as Frans Bietrich, the personification of Nazi evil: educated, urbane, thoughtful, and completely ruthless when torturing and murdering.

The repartee among the three friends, Gilda, Mia, and Guy, during the prewar period is very realistic. I've participated in similar conversations. There are several back referencing jokes. You have to pay attention. In addition we see the best presentation of a three way sexual relationship I've ever seen on film. These three people love each other and this is beautifully communicated.

World War II was a cataclysm that shook the world. The free peoples were fighting for the life of their civilizations against what was one of the most evil regimes to ever exist through all of history, the German Third Reich. The story starts well before WWII and we are shown the good life of a wealthy young woman and her friends in Paris. We are then taken to the Spanish Civil War and on into WWII. The things portrayed in this movie HAPPENED although maybe not exactly as in the story shown; however, similar things are well documented as occurring during WWII. If one doesn't have much knowledge of the history of that period the story may seem far fetched. It isn't. For all I know the story is factual even though there is the usual statement at the end about it all being fiction.

More about Kretschmann: Toward the end of the movie there is a scene in which his character is supervising the torture of a young woman member of the French Resistance. The torturers are using the near drowning method, waterboarding is what the CIA calls it today. He is seated with his back to his underlings and gives the order to immerse her, then plays with a loose thread on his shirt cuff while timing the immersion. He fiddles with his cuff links. He is clearly bored. Just another day at the office. When he decides she isn't going to talk he gives the order to put her under and and never orders her to be raised. I have heard it phrased: "The banality of evil". Kretschmann and Duigan bring it off to perfection.

This is a must see movie. It will stick with you. Parts of it will come back to haunt you for at least several days. As I said before, this is powerful stuff.


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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English | German | French | Spanish

Release Date:

30 October 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Head in the Clouds See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$46,133, 19 September 2004

Gross USA:

$398,278

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$3,664,858
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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