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Christmas In The Clouds
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The film's central conceit- a comedy of errors featuring a mostly Native American cast- establishes a familiar set of expectations that the characters then confound. (The airport scene, for example, which seems about to land in cliche, veers off in a surprising manner.) The cultural setting (with Robert Redford's Sundance standing in for a reservation resort) provides an exotic yet specific context. Serious issues are handled lightly in which serious issues are handled lightly.
The obvious comparisons for the film are "Local Hero," "My Big Fat Greek Wedding" and, most recently "Little Miss Sunshine." Like those films, CITC depends on an ensemble cast, lots of background detail, and most of all, at the center of everything, the often missing element that largest budget in the world can't buy: heart.
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.
Not too serious
Not too funny
Not too sexual
Not too hard to follow
Not too many special effects
Not too long
No hidden messages
No politcal agenda
...you get the idea. If you want to sit back and watch a harmless holiday movie (not really what I would call a Christmas Classic, the holiday was more of a back drop and wasn't leaned on in any way for the story), and just be entertained without all the hub-bub then this is your movie! The charaters are so easy to understand and follow and care about and the story moves along at a perfectly steady pace. I never broke my spleen laughing but was happily amused throught the picture, which to me is a much greater feat for a movie!!! Not sure what to compare this too, it really has an original feel to it and is definitely what I would call a hidden gem as far as movies go...it was SOOOOO nice to have watched a movie and been given that warm fuzzy afterwards. Thank you to the everyone that had anything to do with the production of this movie.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is now one of my favorite Christmas films to watch every year. I cannot recommend it highly enough.Published 7 months ago by land lover
A case of mistaken identity almost ruins everyone’s Christmas when the manager of a resort (Tim Vahle as Ray Clouds on Fire) is expecting a Travel Guide to secretly register then... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Einsatz
I love this movie and watched it twice yesterday while I was putting up our Christmas tree. It is one of my mother's and my favorites so I ordered her a copy for a Christmas... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Quilter T
One of our family's favorite movies. I got this as an extra, loaner copy. I was initially told about it by Native American friends. Read morePublished 19 months ago by CassiesMom
A refreshing change from course language and violence. The characters were wonderful.Published 19 months ago by Diana Williams
Such a nice, light hearted show. The cast was phenomenal, and the scenery was magnificent. One can see why it was a Sundance Film Festival selection.Published 20 months ago by MtMiss
There's ALWAYS room for improvement in a CHRISTMAS movie,
but this one comes pretty darn close to being perfect. Read more
Such a cute video. Nothing like I expected but much better.Published 21 months ago by Renee L. Still Day