Eye For Film >> Movies >> Aloft (2014) Film Review
Reviewed by: Amber Wilkinson
Claudia Llosa relocates from the steamy and sexual heat of Peru to the altogether more physical and emotionally icy territory of Canada for her first movie in English. But her preoccupations with myth, allegory and the idea of history affecting the present are still in evidence. The story comes in wafts across the ice, like shards of a mystery, but no matter how beautiful the craftsmanship - Nicolas Bolduc's cinematography captures the chilly wastelands with the precision of a wildlife documentarian - it can't disguise the end result is too high on the pretensions-without-pay-off scale.
The story flickers between two time periods. In the past, Jennifer Connolly is intense as Nana, a fraught young mother of two sons, Ivan and Gully (played by real-life brothers Zen and Winta McGrath), who is desperate to find a cure for Ivan's inoperable tumour. So desperate, in fact, that faith healing seems her only hope.
In the present, Gully (Cillian Murphy, an actor who almost always looks as though he is on the verge of tears) has blossomed into a falconer of note and become estranged from his mother for reasons that will - inexorably slowly - be revealed. Into his life comes docu-journalist Jannia (Melanie Laurent), who persuades him to take her on a journey to the Artic Circle in search of mum.
There's no shying away from the fact that the New Age, twig-built mumbo-jumbo peddled here is no match from the otherworldly ancient belief systems of Peru that flow through Llosa's earlier works. The promise of revelation and the excellence of the acting carries you with the film to a point but Llosa would rather tie you in knots involving mummy issues, guilt and redemption than offer resolution. "Right now, everything is incomprehensible," says one character. Comprehension, when it comes, only helps to underline the disappointment.Reviewed on: 13 Jan 2015