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Aloft (2014)

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A struggling mother encounters the son she abandoned 20 years earlier.


Claudia Llosa


Claudia Llosa
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Credited cast:
Jennifer Connelly ... Nana Kunning
Cillian Murphy ... Ivan
Mélanie Laurent ... Jannia Ressmore
William Shimell ... Newman
Peter McRobbie ... Ike
Andy Murray ... Lance
Ian Tracey ... Hans
Oona Chaplin ... Alice
Winta McGrath ... Gully
Zen McGrath ... Young Ivan
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Judy Cook ... Airplane Receptionist
Nancy Drake Nancy Drake ... Old Woman
Allan Wallace Dunkeld Allan Wallace Dunkeld ... Boy at Hotel
Cam Gates Cam Gates ... Volunteer
Erika Marxx Erika Marxx ... Woman 3


As we follow a mother (Jennifer Connelly) and her son (Cillian Murphy), we delve into a past marred by an accident that tears them apart. She will become a renowned artist and healer, and he will grow into his own as a peculiar falconer who bears the marks of a double absence. In the present, a young journalist (Mélanie Laurent) will bring about an encounter between the two that puts the very meaning of life and art into question, so that we may contemplate the possibility of living life to its fullest, despite the uncertainties littering our paths. Written by Sony Pictures Classics

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »



Spain | Canada | France


English | French

Release Date:

23 January 2015 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Cry/Fly See more »

Filming Locations:

Manitoba, Canada See more »


Box Office


$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,012, 17 July 2015, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$52,961, 9 August 2015
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


| (dvd)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Temperatures dropped as low as minus 30 during the winter shoot in Canada. See more »


Ivan: How can a mother abandon her son for something she can't even explain?
See more »

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User Reviews

Numbing drama co-produced by Spain/Canada /France with big name actors and slow direction
21 September 2015 | by ma-cortesSee all my reviews

In the opening scenes of the brooding titled ¨Aloft¨ or ¨No Llores Vuela¨ , a young boy carrying a falcon rushes along with his mom (Jennifer Connelly) across a bleak , frozen stretch of road in the Arctic , on their way to see a mysterious faith healer . She is Nana , a single , working-class mother desperately seeking a solution for her youngest child Gully (Winta McGrath) , who suffers from a brain tumor , while also dealing with her precocious , restless older son Ivan (Zen McGrath). Nana lives in northern Manitoba , working part-time on a farm , where she is having an affair with her married boss and attempting to raise her two young sons . In a last-ditch effort to save him from his terminal illness she drags her kids to that aforementioned faith healer (William Shimell) . Later on , us we follow a mother and her grown-up son (Cillian Murphy) . Nana has a great strength , almost stoicism, and she will become a renowned artist as well as healer , and he will grow into his own as an expert falconer married to an attractive woman (Oona Chaplin) . In the present , that puts the very meaning of life and art into question , so that we may contemplate the possibility of living life to its fullest , despite the uncertainties littering our paths . Tracking a journey by a documentarian , Jannia (Mélanie Laurent ), and her subject (Cillian Murphy) toward the North Pole . As journalist Jannia and accomplished falconer Ivan brave punishing winds and frozen but crackling lakes to visit his strange mother . There takes place an encounter between the two that will bring the very meaning of their lives into question .

This Faith-Healing drama is moody , downbeat , slowly paced , somber , dark and attempts to comment on humanity , or the lack of such in the world . ¨Aloft¨ is as remote as its Arctic setting , as the story is certainly rare but with great actors though protagonists leave us cold . Like cheeks on a freezing day , any curiosity or interest the sparse script engenders is puckered dry by the end , leaving behind only an irritating numbness ; and including some ethereal , semi-supernatural roots . The picture relies heavily on the thunderous relationship between a troubled woman who gets reacquainted with her adult son ; both of whom marked from a past event marred by an accident that tears them apart . The family's tough-to-follow saga is one of abandonment and reunion , with filmmaker as well as writer Claudia Llosa showing both to be equally taxing in their own ways . The film holds itself at an icy remove from its audience , rendering its characters as impenetrable as if they were encased in ice . Nice performances from Jennifer Connelly as a struggling mummy encounters the son she abandoned 20 years earlier , delving her evolution to becoming a renowned healer , Cilliam Murphy as a peculiar falconer who bears the marks of a double absence and Mélanie Laurent as the young journalist will bring about an encounter between the two main starring . The freewheeling camera often stays close on the important cast , which also includes Oona Chaplin , William Shimell and Ian Tracey . Furthermore , a colorful , cold and evocative cinematography by Nicolas Bolduc . Sensitive and and relaxing musical score by Michael Brook .

This thoughtful , meditative , thought-provoking , but deceptive flick was regularly directed by Peruvian director Claudia Llosa who previously directed the magical realism-infused 2009 drama titled "The Milk of Sorrow" , it told the story of a rare disease transmitted through the breast milk of pregnant women who were abused or raped during or soon after pregnancy . This was her first English-language film titled "Aloft" , like her prior two features — debut "Madeinusa" and Golden Bear-winning follow-up "The Milk Of Sorrow" , "Aloft" boasts Llosa's magnificently lyrical eye for photography and her unassailable slickness to originate a haunted , slightly otherworldly atmosphere even out of banal happenings .

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