6.6/10
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67 user 45 critic

Head in the Clouds (2004)

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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
6 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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Details

Country:

UK | Canada

Language:

English | German | French | Spanish

Release Date:

30 October 2004 (Japan) See more »

Also Known As:

Bulutların üzerinde 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

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hugh Grant was originally announced for the Stuart Townsend part. See more »

Quotes

Gilda Bessé: Beauty, bravery, and brains. What a catch. You also have a nice willy, and I hope to dream about it.
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

La Rumba d'Amour
Music by Moïse Simons
Lyrics by Henri Varna, Marc Cab and Leopold De Lima
Performed by Mistinguett
Originally published by Lawrence Wright Music Co. (PRS/MCPSmember) (London, Eng.)
Les nouvelles Additions Meridian SACE c/o Peermusic Canada Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
World War II from the European View
27 March 2006 | by gradyharpSee all my reviews

Writer and Director John Duigan has added to his cinematic stature with this recent film about the interrelated responses of three countries - England, France, Spain - to the early phases of WW II and in doing so gives some inadvertent insight into how the continent was so endangered by the little known bad boy Hitler in the years leading up to the horror of a second World War.

The title seems very appropriate - taken from the quip of 'Head in the clouds, Feet on the ground' - as the lead character Gilda (a radiantly beautiful Charlize Theron) seems to float above all of the reality of warring struggles in 1933, focusing her life on paramours, expensive clothes, and 'dangerous liaisons' with a varied assortment of men, all the while keeping a firm stance on needs of her strangely disjointed life. Indeed, the opening of the film finds Gilda in need of shelter from a night's fling with a Cambridge lover and she knocks on the door of a poor struggling Irish student Guy (Stuart Townsend), thus beginning a lasting affair that coasts through the entire story.

Guy eventually follows Gilda to Paris where she is a popular photographer living with her gallerist, but also living with her lesbian lover Mia (Penelope Cruz). Gilda, Guy, and Mia become a triptych and it is only the impact of the rise of fascism in Spain (Mia's home) that separates the ménage a trois: idealistic Guy and compassionate Mia are off to fight Franco while Gilda is left behind to admit to the encroaching threat of Nazis in France and enter into her own version of involvement.

How these three weather the war and resolve their varied degrees of complicity provides the film's finale. The cast is strong, the settings are gorgeous (in all three countries) as captured by cinematographer Paul Sarossy, and the musical score by Terry Frewer introduces a potential talent for film composition (while borrowing heavily from French cabaret songs, symphonic music by Edward Elgar, and pieces of Francis Poulenc). But the overall reason for enjoying this rather long film is the interplay of Theron, Townsend and Cruz in a variety of richly sensuous vignettes. Well worth watching. Grady Harp


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