"The book is a film that takes place in the mind of the reader." ~ Paulo Coelho

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Movie Review: Clouds (2020)

Hello, my friends!

Iʼm reviewing a movie today that I recommend for all people to watch. Why? Donʼt worry, Iʼll give you the reasons soon enough.

Plus, you'll be hearing thoughts from someone who has never been on this blog before, even though I mention her a lot...

The downside of this movie is that you can only watch it on Disney+. I know what youʼre all thinking, “MC, you finally got it!?” No, my sister got it and Iʼve been enjoying watching it with her. Iʼm not being paid to say this, but I think it is worth it to get it to watch this film. The reasons why? Read on.

My guarantee: On ALL of my reviews there are NO spoilers unless I give you warning. This is spoiler free!

Clouds (2020):
Based on: The true story of Zach Sobiech, and the book Fly a Little Higher, How God Answered a Momʼs Small Prayer in a Big Way - by Laura Sobiech.
A boy in high school who is fighting with cancer learns that he only has so long to live and decides to make the most of it. The movie follows him and his family through it as they deal with the struggles, and all the while Zach fights the sadness that hits him as he just wants to make others laugh. He starts writing songs with his best friend and begins to hang out with the girl he has a crush on. How can he encourage others to live their lives when his is slipping away from him?
Biography, Drama.
Length: approx. 121 minutes.
Script: 8, this is rated PG-13 for “brief strong language”, but I actually didnʼt notice it. Yikes, now Iʼm afraid that Iʼm becoming too used to it.
Crew: Directed by: Justin Baldoni. Written by: Kara Holden, Casey La Scala, Patrick Kopka, Kara Holden, & Laura Sobiech.
Fin Argus as Zach Sobiech.
Sabrina Carpenter as Sammy Brown.
Neve Campbell as Laura Sobiech.
Madison Iseman as Amy Adamle.
Tom Everett Scott as Rob Sobiech.
Lil Rel Howery as Mr. Weaver.
Summer H. Howell as Grace.
Vivien Endicott-Douglas as Alli.
Dylan Everett as Sam.
Tyrone Benskin as Doctor.
Benjamin Roy as Eli.
Aida Yirga as Tessa.
Morgana Mogent as Janie.
Mitchell Kluesner as Mitch.
Jason Mraz as himself.
There are many cameos of actually people that the characters are based on.
Costumes: 8, just standard, but there is a scene when someone isnʼt wearing a shirt.
 Cinematography: 9, you know how there are those movies that as you watch it you think, “Wow, this is spectacular!”? Then there are the ones that you watch and think, “That is painfully bad”? Then you have ones that you donʼt remember because it was nothing special? This is none of the above, but rather one of those that gets you in the mood and gently puts you in every single scene without you even noticing. Pretty cool.
Cinematography by: Ben Kutchins.
Music: 10, all of these songs are so incredible and inspiring. The title of the movie is after the song “Clouds”, and it is so fitting and beautifully tied in. Now, for contentʼs sake I will mention that there is a suggestive song, but itʼs supposed to be funny and the performance is so ridiculous and cringe worthy that you canʼt help laughing and doesnʼt do any harm. Listening to it again you think, “Wow, thatʼs really bad.”, but then you just continue with the movie.
Music by: Songs written by Zach Sobiech and Sammy Brown.
Quotability: N/A, as I watched it recently, but one line about painting masterpieces has really stuck with me. I didnʼt take my signature notes while watching it, so I canʼt tell you any exact lines.
Oscars won: N/A.
Content: 7. This movie involves a disease and the treatment of it, and while there are some details including throwing up and looking at scars, it focuses more on the mental side and doesnʼt show anything that would make anyone too queasy. There are one or two suggestive comments, and some kissing where it looks like itʼs going to get bad for a minute, but I promise that nothing happens. Also, the above song that I mentioned.
It also had a part where they are talking about Christian religion, and there are a few joking comments, but later there are some beautiful parts as well and I almost wish that they had expanded on that.
10, I always give this score to true stories because it is real life. Especially in this movie everything was so creative and you constantly felt like you were seeing something new.
Good For: Anyone who has gone through cancer or has known someone who has, anyone who loves music, everyone.
Age Range: I mentioned that it was rated PG-13 for language, and I would agree with that but for some kissing. It depends on the person, and this is an important movie to watch, but it might just be too much for little kids.
Overall Score: 9!
Worth watching?: Oh my word, yes. This film was so powerful and inspiring. I am sure that I will never forget about it and the messages that it carries. I would expand more, but really, all of this review is me talking about how worthy it is of watching so Iʼll keep it short here.
Will I watch again?:
Yes, and I actually plan to very soon! My little sister and I want to watch it with our older sister now and plenty of times after that.
Bonus thoughts:
I never know where to start telling people about how good movies are. This movie made me want to just know so much more about all of these real people. Like, apparently Sammy Brown was an Irish dancer! I now want to read Laura Sobiechʼs book that she wrote that this is based on.

In my mind I automatically start comparing this film to the movie Midnight Sun (2018) because their storylines are very similar. Personally, I think this one is better. First of all, it is a true story. Now, Iʼm not downing fictional stories at all, in fact I usually prefer to write them. Like in the book The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, one of the girls Jane Penderwick, has to write an essay about a famous woman, and she writes about one of the characters in her book. Thatʼs me. I always prefer to make something up and just write whatever comes into my mind to doing research about someone actually alive.

And just because cancer is a more well known disease than xeroderma pigmentosum doesnʼt make the other one less important or the people less worthy of care. But reading about the disease, Iʼve come to the conclusion that they “ramped it up” for the movie to make it more dramatic. Having the sun hit your skin for five seconds is not going to harm you that much, but five minutes could cause you to burn. Now, Iʼm not an expert, but you get my point.

Another thing is that in Midnight Sun (2018) you can tell that the filmmakers really wanted to make you cry. Which was very annoying that I fell for it. In here, Zach says that he doesnʼt want to be a “sob story”, and it actually just shows you the struggles of being terminal without trying to make you cry. It is painful, but in a natural and not forced way. These filmmakers didnʼt say, “Cry! You have to! If you donʼt youʼre a heartless human being!”

Instead they showed you good and bad and let you process your emotions how you wished.

Enough about comparisons! Thatʼs not what weʼre doing here! I want to just talk about how amazing Clouds is.

There is one element that I want to scream about for ages: The subtly.

I mentioned in the music section about how fantastic the songs, and how it features the songs that Zach Sobiech and Sammy Brown wrote, which are heartbreakingly gorgeous. In addition to that, the background music and score are phenomenal. One of the reasons is that it is so subtle. I can be a little dense sometimes and donʼt get subtle things, as I need the facts to be yelled at me. In here, though, they had a magical balance. They use to music to tell you what is happening.

In one spot in particular, you can hear the opening of a song being played while characters are talking, and I lost it. I was bawling so much that my sister had to pause the movie until I got it under control. She said, “This is a happy part! Why are you crying?”

Because the music had just told me so much.

Later, in a sad part, my sister was shocked when she was crying but I wasnʼt. I didnʼt need to, because I had already been told what was going to happen in that happy part. It is a joyous part in the movie, but they beautifully wove in the sadness along the edges and made it even more special.

My sister didnʼt know what the song was because she hadnʼt heard it before, but if you have heard it then I bet youʼll react like I did.

Another thing was the relationships between all of the characters contained that same subtly. People would squeeze each others hands and throw jokes around and other little actions so we didnʼt need to be told how they felt about each other, because we could SEE it. In one place that Iʼm thinking of the characters did talk about their feelings, but that was important because even though we could already see it, one of the characters couldnʼt. It was a really sweet moment.

One relationship did depend on it a little too much, I thought, but thatʼs just me.

Ah, and the little girl! Anytime in any movie their is a scene with a little kid, it utterly breaks me. This little girl was so adorable and sweet and amazing. This was before the moment that really destroyed me, so it helped contribute to it.

After all my talk, what does this movie mean to me? It showed me that life is beautiful even through the ugly parts. It seems like a simple sentiment, but it really affected me, and I hope that anyone who watches this is impacted as deeply as I was.

I watched this with my younger sister, FionaCateCreates so she is going to tell you her thoughts, too! She will be typing in italics. Take it away!

Hello! I am Fiona, MC's younger sister. These are my thoughts on the movie "Clouds":

This movie is a really inspiring and motivational movie. I would also recommend it to anyone. This movie reminds you of how truly special, what a gift, life is. Every moment matters, every day, every minute. Make the most of it. The only thing you need to hear to be convinced to watch it is a quote from Zach Sobiech "You don't have to find out you're dying to start living.".
When we hear true stories of people doing amazing things, they inspire us. They kick us back into full gear, wake us up from our state of putting only minimal effort into the things we do. For me, through this pandemic I have changed because I have always been a very motivated and productive person. I have always had big dreams and goals. But I lost my motivation back in March. I felt like all my dreams would never come true. But unlike Zach Sobiech, I decided to give up on everything and I didn't care about my hopes and dreams anymore. I became a different person, but the truth is we can't always be motivated. We get burned out. But I watched this movie back in October, and I feel like it lit a new fire in me. He was diagnosed as terminal, with only minimal time left to live, but he pushed through all the way, to make the most of it.

"You don't need to find out you're dying to start living" hit me. Even though I can't do much right now, this is a world of technology and we're growing everyday, I can do quite a lot. Even though things are going to be different, doesn't mean we should just give up on everything. We can make the most of what it is, do our best to make the most of everyday. So, I encourage you to watch this movie if you feel dead inside, lacking motivation, or hope. Especially now, during the holidays we can use this, but also anytime and every time of our lives.

Thanks, Fiona!

And thank you for reading! I want all of you to go watch this so we can talk! If you've seen this, please tell me all of your thoughts and which song is your favorite. Are there stories that feel like are just trying to make you cry and others where it comes naturally? Enjoy!



  1. Awesome review! I've been seeing this movie around on the Internet, and your review has just convinced me to watch it! (as soon as I have access to Disney+, anyways XD)

    1. Thanks, Nicole! Sometimes when I hear a lot about a movie I don't know what to believe, but I'm glad that we convinced you! (Yeah, there's that factor. XD When you get a chance, tell me your thoughts!)

  2. I saw this movie had come out, but I also know it makes people bawl uncontrollably, so I don't know if I'm super into watching it. Always a fan of Sabrina Carpenter, though.

    1. I get that. My sister's friend watched it first and told us to have a tissue box nearby as there is a lot of crying, which made me a wary. Yes to Sabrina Carpenter! She's fun to watch and listen to.

  3. I've seen a TON of YouTube ads for this one, which means I wasn't sure if it was worth watching (I'm obstinate/oppositional like that), but you've convinced me! This sounds like a beautiful movie (and I'll have to check the book out, too!)

    Of course, I may have to watch it by myself, since I won't cry, but every other member of my family would. XD

    1. I am totally the same way! When something is really popular and has a lot of hype I am immediately suspicious about how good it actually is (unless it's Star Wars XD). I think it is beautiful! I really want to read the book, too!

      Fiona and I are planning to watch it with our older sister soon and I have a feeling that she'll be the same as you. XD That's not necessarily a bad thing, you guys are the practical ones!

  4. Great review! I DEFINITELYYYY get what you mean about movies being so explicitly focused on emotional manipulation -- when you know a movie is trying to FORCE you to cry, it can be a dealbreaker.

    Also, I've tagged you for the Narnia Tag! <3


    1. Thanks! Yes, you says it exactly how I feel! Whatever I'm watching a movie and I can tell that is starting then my opinion of it goes downhill just because it is manipulation!

      Ack! Thank you, thank you, Olivia! You know me and my love of Narnia so well. <3

  5. Okay, I commented here before, but I don't think mine went through. If it did, you can go ahead and delete this if you want, since I'm saying pretty much the same thing.
    Anyway, I've seen a lot of ads for this, and it looked interesting (plus it has Sabrina Carpenter in it, who I love), but I wasn't sure if I'd like it or not. December is Christmas Movie Month, so I'll add it to my 2021 to-be-watched list.
    And, yup, I CAN'T STAND movies that force you to cry. It should come naturally, if you're emotionally invested in the story.
    Also, I usually prefer fiction to nonfiction, too. That part in The Penderwicks was so relatable to me. Also, that part where her science essay is just, "I hate science essays." Xd.
    Great review. I loved reading your sister's thoughts, too.

    1. I'm glad that you commented again, McKayla, because I can't find you're first one anywhere. Blogger has been acting up On that lately and getting tired of it.
      Sabrina Carpenter is great. My sisters and I have been watching a mix of Marvel and Christmas movies, too, but in January Fiona and I going to show this to our other sister. If you watch it let me know what you think!
      Exactly! If the story is well written then it just happens.
      I am like Jane in so many ways, but especially the science essay part! XD I would much rather write a play of some kind.
      Thanks from both of us!

    2. I am definitely a lot like Jane,too. My sister was reading The Penderwicks for the first time a little while ago, and she actually put down the book and said, "Did they write McKayla into the book? She's so much like you."
      Writing a play seems like it would be so fun! I'd like to try it sometime.

    3. Hey, that's awesome! High five! That's really cool that your sister noticed it, too. Usually I tell people that I'm like fictional characters and they say sarcastically, "Yeah, right."
      Right? I've got some ideas in my head for a screenplay that I hope to one day jot down.

  6. I think I saw the trailer for this one, it looked good.
    After reading both your thoughts, I definitely need to check it out.

    1. Both of us are glad that you liked our review, Skye! If you see it, I'd love to hear if you think that it lived up to the trailer or not.


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"If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, where you stop your story." -Orson Welles