Thursday, December 07, 2006

DVD Review for Christmas in the Clouds (2005)

Christmas in the Clouds was first featured at the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. This film is light hearted comedy built in the tradition of Native American storytelling. The film had a limited release at the theatres, so I did get a chance to see it. After seeing the DVD rental, I definitely will add this to my collection.

Ray Clouds on Fire (Tim Vahle) comes back to his Tribe’s reservation after personal struggles off the reservation. He is hired as the General Manager of the Tribe’s ski resort. Joe (Sam Vlahos) is Ray’s father who is exchanging letters with his pen pal Tina (Mariana Tosca) from New York. When Tina comes for a visit at the same time as a well known travel guide (M. Emmet Walsh) a case of mistaken identity develops into hilarious scenarios.

Ray tries to rally the troops to put on a good show for the travel guide so the resort can get a great review write-up. That’s when the laughs start. But there is a relationship brewing on the horizon. And some tender moments are ahead. Not to be too serious though, funny characters are introduced throughout the film. Earl the vegetarian chef (Graham Greene) and Mary (Sheila Tousey) make a noticeable standout.

Robert Redford’s Sundance ranch is the beautiful backdrop for this film. The film captures the resort brilliantly and character is built smoothly. There are many Native American supporting actors that blend well in this film; Wes Studi (Himself), Shirley Cheechoo and Warrior Mouse. I have to make a special note for Inuit singer Karina Moeller of Pamyua who makes a special appearance that might make you shed a tear or more.

This is great family holiday movie. It is not just a Native American movie but a movie that everyone can relate to. The one thing that could have been developed better is the time lapses. But I still would like to see more films from writer/director Kate Montgomery. The DVD contains the Trailer, Reviews and Rewards and Photo Gallery.
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