I notice that I’ve never done a film review on this blog before. I guess that’s kind of strange because even though I dislike going to the cinema (the volume is way too loud and the bright lights in the dark hurt my eyes), I do very much enjoy watching films at home.
Then again, lots of websites feature film reviews so it’s not like this market is underserved or anything.
Having said that, I’ve just seen a film which was made six years ago. And I am so extra super excited about this film I just had to tell you about it.
One reason I have to tell you about this film is because you’ve probably never heard of it. Despite having been released six years ago by a major motion picture studio (Sony/Columbia Tristar) with a well-known starring cast (Charlize Theron, Penélope Cruz), nobody I know has ever heard of it.
So why does any of this matter to me? Well, the other reason I’m so excited is because this is the only film I’ve ever seen which portrays bisexuality, polyamory and women-toppy BDSM favourably and realistically as they can manifest within romantic social relationships.
Perhaps most significantly of all, this film also is the only one I’ve ever seen which portrays a favourable and realistic view of a socially dominant woman. And I think that is incredibly rare and special.
Even though bisexuality, polyamory, BDSM and female social dominance within romantic relationships are featured prominently throughout the film, their portrayal was so very realistic that every single one of the reviewers I read didn’t even notice!
This film came to my attention because it was mentioned in a polyamory-themed group on FetLife. One of the members started a thread mentioning this film and asking if our experiences of polyamory were anything like those portrayed in it. Most of us (including me) had never heard of it.
I was curious about what kinds of poly experiences the poster was referring to, so I watched the film. Wow, I was so very glad I did.
The story features a goodly dollop of female sexual and social empowerment, bisexuality, polyamory, and power exchange within romantic social relationships. The convincing characters share a believable dynamic which credibly bends and sways under the impact of external life events. And this film was made with high production values by capable artists, performers and crew, and was released by a big commercial studio (Sony Pictures/Columbia Tristar Entertainment).
High production values notwithstanding, the studio sadly funded only low-level promotion with limited showings in a very few cinemas. In most countries Head in the Clouds was never even shown in cinemas and went straight to DVD. Even though Head in the Clouds was nominated for and indeed won many awards, the poor promotion is probably the reason most of us never heard of it.
Head in the Clouds may not be the best film ever made, and there are certainly some elements which could have featured a wee bit more attention to detail, but frankly I don’t care. I’m just delighted that a high-end mainstream film with sympathetic and realistic portrayals of these aspects of humanity got made at all. And even though it took six years (?!) after its release for me to hear about it, I’m very happy that I got to see it.