5.0 out of 5 stars a walk in the clouds
I loved this movie. I have it in VHS but wanted it in DVD because I watch all my movies on my laptop computer, while my husband watches what he wants on the TV. I have seen this movie several times, it's so romantic. Thanks Sandra
Published 19 months ago by sandra
3.0 out of 5 stars Creative License With Reality... And Lots of Fun!
This is a highly enjoyable, sentimental romance movie.
Thing is, I'm not much on sentimental romance movies. But this is so visually stunning, filled with such beautiful imagery and gorgeous music, that it will take your breath away.
But what I find really fascinating about this movie is that it breaks an implicit contract between the viewer and the filmmakers. And...
Published on Feb 19 2003 by Glenn from Baltimore
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5.0 out of 5 stars a walk in the clouds,
1.0 out of 5 stars Seriously awful sentimental blather,
There are so many lame, unbelievable details that its almost cruel to mention all of them. Paul (the flat, affectless Keanu Reeves, incapable of expressing anything remotely like romantic love) is a chocolate candy salesman who carries around ONE box of sample candy...in the heat of late summer. Apparently he is unconcerned about it melting in the heat or even about replacing the samples he offers to potential customers. Instead of selling the candy door to door in his native San Francisco, he somehow boards a train for Sacramento (even hotter!) but ends up in ... the Napa Valley. (Please consult a map to see why this is utterly ridiculous.) BTW: Look for Debra Messing (Will and Grace) in a small, thankless role as Paul's unfaithful wife.
Victoria (Aitana Gijan) is a Mexican American graduate student who has gotten pregnant by her married college professor, and is inexplicably returning home to Napa, where she will face the anger and scorn of her traditional Mexican family. Anyone who could have written this knows exactly nothing about the period (just after the end of WWII) and is in a kind of denial about the real lifestyles of Mexican American women at that time. I'll bet that there were precious few Mexican Americans (men or women) attending graduate school at Berkley at that time, and if there was, it would remarkable and worth commenting on. Even a basic 4 year college degree was a big deal in the 40s, let alone a master's. (Ms. Gujan, who is very lovely, nonethess is a little too old to be playing a college student.) Additionally, it is more likely that an unwed pregnant girl of that time, with disaproving parents, would have gone to a home for Unwed Mothers and given her child up for adoption. There simply was not the casual acceptance of illegitimate children at that time -- it was a genuine scandal -- and that's easy to forget today when the very word "illegitimate" has practically disappeared from the language.
Paul and Victoria decide to pretend to a sham marriage to fool her parents -- for one night! -- and then he'll abandon her, leaving her and the baby to the sympathy of her family. This definitely sounds like a plan that is NOT going to work right from the get-go, as everyone is (no surprise) highly suspicious of the situation. The two have prepared so little that they couldn't fool a bored INS investigator about their "relationship", as they clearly know nothing about one another.
Although the story appears to start in summer and warm weather (the characters are wearing summer clothing), six hours after arriving at the family winery, the weather turns cold enough to actually cause the wine grapes to FREEZE. In other words, the temperature dropped from the 70s to below freezing...in September. This isn't really normal for the Napa Valley, which is the chief wine growing region of California precisely because it is so temperate. (BTW: the Aragon family lives in a kind of high-style palazzo that looks more like the ostentacious home of a 90s-era film producer than a real working vineyard.) It is a sad comment on this whole film that the views of the vineyard are misty CGI paintings, rather than real photography...a strange choice when the area being referrenced is known to be one of the most beautiful and photogenic in the world!
Anyways, as the grapes are freezing, they put out gigantic smudge pots and all the characters grab giant silken "wings" and run out to the vineyards to perform rather elaborate "dances" to direct the heat to the grapes and prevent freezing. This looks and is perfectly ridiculous. I am also surprised that it works! Apparently so well that every member of the family apparently SLEEPS with such wings at the ready in case of sudden unseasonable frosts. (Victoria runs out to flap wings in her silk nightgown...a nightgown which a couple hours earlier she was too embarassed to allow Paul to glimse her in....how come she isn't shivering in this thin sleeveless garment when the presence of frost clearly indicates that the temperature is below freezing?)
The movie is literally one gaff filled moment after another, like those I have mentioned above. The next morning -- after the freeze, which has miraculously lifted and the temperature gone back to the 70s -- it's harvest time! The next day! and a couple of days later...you got it. The entire vineyard burns to the ground...except one tiny blackened root which is, YUP, it's the foundation root brought all the way from Spain hundreds of years ago. Apparently they are going to restart an entire several hundred acre vineyard with ONE ROOT.
I know that director Arau is Mexican and probably wanted to reference as much of his beloved homeland in this project as possible. Certainly there is a long history of Mexican Americans in California, so he had lots of choices. But I am fairly certain that the vast majority of vineyards in Napa were ITALIAN in the 1940s. Any of the hispanic actors cast could have convincingly played Italians and the old film this is based on was itself Italian. Making everyone Mexican is no more believable than making them Swedish or Lebanese...it's an affectation and utterly unrealistic.
The whole movie has the feeling of a stale, artificial tasting bon bon (not unlike the candies that Paul is half-heartedly trying to sell) -- old, dried out, tasteless, synthetic and generally unpleasant. There is a place for old fashioned romance in movies, but "A Walk in the Clouds" sure is not it.
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully Filmed, But It Needed a Lighter Touch,
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS is the story of Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves) who marries quickly, right before leaving for Europe and WWII. When he comes home, to 1945 San Francisco, he finds his wife less than overjoyed to see him. Used to being alone (but hating it), Paul doesn't stick around and takes the train to Sacramento, instead. There he meets the beautiful-but-pregnant-and-unmarried Victoria Aragon (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon). Victoria comes from an old, aristocratic Mexican family and she's terrified of what their reaction will be to her pregnancy. Paul, smitten with her beauty and her charm (and just being an all round good guy, too) offers to "pretend" to be her husband for one day and then abandon her. Victoria and Paul agree that this is the best road to follow, especially where Victoria's stern and traditional father, Alberto Aragon (Giancarlo Giannini) is concerned. Of course, the inevitable happens and Paul and Victoria really do fall in love.
When Paul and Victoria arrive at Victoria's family's vineyard, Alberto dislikes Paul from the start. Paul is simply not aristocratic enough or moneyed enough or traditional enough to suit Alberto, although Paul does have more luck with Victoria's grandfather, Don Pedro (Anthony Quinn), who is a kinder and more accepting man than is Alberto.
A WALK IN THE CLOUDS begins well, and, in the beginning, it does contain some magic, but, for me, at least, it simply wasn't able to sustain that magic until the final credits. The writers handled the magical first half of the film with a very light touch, something this film, with its touches of fantasy, definitely needed. During the second half, however, they let the film slip into melodrama and silliness and the ending, for me, wasn't at all satisfying.
I think Keanu Reeves as Paul, a man searching for his place in the world, was woefully miscast. He was wooden, even during his love scenes with the very pretty Aitana Sanchez-Gijon (who is far better known in Spain). Sanchez-Gijon's performance lost some of its luster simply because she had to play off the very wooden Reeves so much of the time, but she did try and part of the time she even succeeded. At least she looked the part. She has a luminescence and effervescence about her that make us feel any man would be a fool not to fall in love with her. Giancarlo Giannini and Anthony Quinn turn in first-rate performances as Victoria's father and grandfather and they do much to rescue A WALK IN THE CLOUDS from mediocrity.
Despite this film's tendency to slip into heaviness and melodrama, each scene is a visual delight. Cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki, certainly didn't let anyone down. A WALK IN THE CLOUDS is gorgeously filmed and, on that score, it does rival, or perhaps even surpass, LIKE WATER FOR CHOCOLATE. While the entire film is a visual delight, two scenes, in particular, deserve special mention. The first is a scene during which the women of the vineyard dance around in a vat of grapes, crushing them with their bare feet. That might not sound so gorgeous on paper, but it is both sensual and beautiful. The second scene that deserves a special mention is my favorite and revolves around the people of the vineyard as they "fly" through it at night on huge, gossamer wings in an attempt to keep the frost off the grapes.
If only A WALK IN THE CLOUDS could have kept the light, ephemeral feel it had two-thirds of the way through the film and avoided the disastrous fall into melodrama and it's horribly silly ending, I think it might have been a masterpiece. As it is, I definitely think it's worth renting, but I would have to think twice before buying it. It's certainly not going to be everyone's cup of tea.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Movie,
Amazon Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Anyway, really terrific cast and the photography (I think some are paintings and special effects) are simply outstanding.
Totally acceptable family viewing with wonderful values etc. Really recommend this for purchase.
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm a guy and even I thought it was great.,
By A Customer
The music is great too; I went out and bought the soundtrack.
Basically, it's a great romance movie with beautiful scenes, not a bad way to start a Friday evening with your lover.
5.0 out of 5 stars This movie gives me goosebumps every time!,
By A Customer
The scene where he and Aitana Sanchez-Gijon embrace after the stomping the grapes...oh, that scene grabs my heart every time!
The scenery in this film is gorgeous and makes you want to romp through a California vineyard!
I highly recommend this film for anyone looking for a great romance.
4.0 out of 5 stars How can anyone say this guy is wooden?!,
This film is definitely one of his best. Everyone else has gone through the storyline on this, so I won't! I will say Keanu looks great in a uniform, and does what Bruce Willis for little white vests - yummy!
The scenery is absolutely breath-taking in this movie, as is Keanu - OK, sorry, I had to slip that in!!!
A pre-Will & Grace Debra Messing stars in this, as Paul's wife, Betty. During a friendly game of hockey with his friends during spare time, Keanu's lip was split, requiring six stitches (which must have been a pain for the director), and a kiss from Debra Messing in a scene, he had to tell her not to hurt him!
Aitana Sánchez-Gijón plays the beautiful Victoria Aragón, although there's several unnoticed continuity problems, as her hair seems to go from wavy to straight every couple of scenes! This is her first mainstream, and she hasn't appeared in a lot of other mainstream movies. Anthony Quinn also stars, as the interfering grandfather, Don Pedro Aragón, who almost seems to know that the couple aren't really married, which takes a while for the rest of the family to figure out.
This is a terrific romance, a lot better than anything that features the ubiquitous Mr Grant. And definitely a must, if you had a bit of a lonely Valentine's Day. Who says romance is dead?
5.0 out of 5 stars GORGEOUS DVD,
Travelguide for Sonoma and Napa counties- best viewed with a nice bottle of your favorite vintage. For a white I like Kendall Jackson Chardonnay ( Alexander Valley), or a nice hearty Napa Merlot- your choice of vineyard- both make this a mellow evening of viewing:)
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful movie,
By A Customer
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A Walk in the Clouds (Widescreen) by Alfonso Arau (DVD - 2001)
CDN$ 25.98 CDN$ 24.95