Happily married, the woman nonetheless begins an affair with another man. The sex is amazing. Her new guy is unat-
tached and conse-
quently delighted with the turn of events. Her hus-
band? Not so much. What -- you say you've seen all this a hundred times before?
I don't think so.
The characters in Andreas Dresen's groundbreaking movie CLOUD 9 are ages 67, 72 and 76. And this makes all the difference, for them, as for the viewer. The age of the participants changes everything -- from how they look (and how we look at them) to how they feel, physically and emotionally, to what they -- all three of them -- can expect to come from this affair. Herr Dresen (shown at left) serves us a slice of geriatric life seldom encountered at the movies, and he and his cast offer it up with joy and sorrow, nuance and specificity. Yes, there's plenty of full frontal, too.
The movie may well be seen more than once by the older generation: the first time for the surprises in store, the tale itself and its look at three very interesting characters. After the viewing, however, a lot of questions arise -- not so much about the veracity of what we've seen as to the consequences, the "morality" of it all. Each viewer will likely have his/her own "take" on the movie, and I can imagine some highly charged discussions post-screening.
The very smart distributor Music Box Films (Trust No One, Shall We Kiss, Il Divo and the recent Seraphine) is opening Cloud 9, this Friday, August 14, in New York City at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas (and one week later at NYC's Cinema Village). Further summer and fall playdates around the country can be found here (once the link has opened, scroll to the middle of the screen).