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Is 'Cloud Atlas' the best film of 2012? Phillip Brents | Fri, Dec 28 2012 10:57 AM

Is “Cloud Atlas” the best film of 2012? The sprawling science-fiction effort by directors/writers Lana and Andy Wachowski and Tom Tykwer ranks at the top of several prestigious film critics’ best lists, though Quentin Tarantino’s genre-Western “Django Unchained,” released on Christmas Day, could steal its thunder.

The Wachowskis’ film, tagged at $102 million, clearly sparks intellectual discussion and requires repeated viewings.
An ensemble cast featuring Tom Hanks, Halle Berry, Jim Broadbent, Hugo Weaving, Susan Sarandon and Hugh Grant, among others, enacts its multiple-layered storyline, which spans from 1849 to a 2321 post-apocalypitc setting.

Is it a story of karma and reincarnation? It definitely has polarized critics with its ambitious, innovative storyline while also rewarding audiences with an emotional payoff. The film premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival, whereupon it received a 10-minute standing ovation.

Must-see TV
The Jan. 6  premiere of season three of “Downton Abbey” on “Masterpiece Classics” will be broadcast on KPBS at 9 p.m. The handsomely-made British-American period drama has received universal acclaim; its enchanting set of characters — aristocrat and commoner alike — call to a world no longer extant. New episodes are set in 1920.  

Holiday and good cheer

Norbert Stein, 99, the award-winning “Poet of Chula Vista,” has come up with a winner to ring in the New Year.
It’s hard to beat these lines, which he penned several years ago. They, well, remain timeless:

“Better days are coming,

So is Christmas and New Year, from your Poet of Chula Vista, happiness and good cheer.

Let all of us be brothers — lend each a helping hand, let all of us be thankful for the freedom of our land.”

Hear, hear!

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