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we saw wut u did thar, paramount
"Cloud Atlas" film's got some yellowface goin' on. 
26th-Jul-2012 03:32 pm
ROD Read Or Die final
Maybe someone can help me with this one bcz I might have entirely gotten things wrong. So I'm watching this trailer for an upcoming Tom Hanks / Halle Berry movie and I see something really strange. No, not Hanks' facial hair; Jim Sturgess in Yellowface[starts at 1:53]:
That is Jim Sturgess, right? Anyways, here's the directors explaining the film, in which they comment that the actors are to play multiples rolls: different ages, different races, and different genders[starts at 1:05]:
I don't get it. Even if people are perfectly "cool" about this, how can you look at that guy's face and think he looks perfectly normal? Oh, wow, and it's Jim Sturgess from 21. How odd is that?

Apparently the two actors play different roles in another part of the film, and from this image it looks like the actress, Doona Bae, is playing a white lady?

27th-Jul-2012 01:30 am (UTC)
The gimmick of the Cloud Atlas movie is that everyone plays multiple roles, so yeah, that is Doona Bae as a white lady in that other screencap.

Halle Berry is also playing Jocasta Crommelynck (we only see Jocasta for like a split second in the trailer, but she's fairly important in the book) in what looks like whiteface.

Halle Berry's main roles are Meronym (who's explicitly a POC in the book) and Luisa Rey, whose race is never explicitly identified, but is strongly implied to be white. We didn't really see him in the trailer, but Keith David is playing Joe Napier, who's also implied to be white in the book, but is black in the movie.

It also looked like some of the white European characters in the 19th century section are being played by black actors, but since we only saw those scenes for a split second I'm kind of at a loss to guess just what characters they are.

So really, things are all over the place-- there's white actors playing characters of color, non-white actors playing white characters, non-white actors playing characters who were probably white in the book but aren't white in the movie, etc., etc.

Anyway, the six most important characters in the novel are probably Adam Ewing (white in the book and the movie), Robert Frobisher (white in the book and the movie), Luisa Rey (probably white in the book, not white in the movie), Timothy Cavendish (white in the book and the movie), Sonmi~451 (Korean in both the book and the movie), and Meronym (not white in both the book and the movie). So in the movie, it looks like these six characters are half white guys and half women of color (and a third Halle Berry since she's kind of double dipping here).

Just to give a bit more background on the book, the casting, and what's different where.

EDIT: Mostly I'm just pleasantly surprised they even remembered Sonmi~451 is Korean. :V

EDIT EDIT: HUGE NOVEL SPOILERS: It's totally irrelevant to whether Jim Sturgess playing him is appropriate or not, but I feel compelled to point out that as much as the trailer portrayed a lovey dovey relationship between Hae-joo Im and Sonmi~451, in the end Sonmi reveals that he was a huge traitor scumbag government plant.

Edited at 2012-07-27 01:37 am (UTC)
27th-Jul-2012 02:04 am (UTC)
I found an image of all the different characters Halle Berry plays in the trailer:

Clockwise from top left, it's Jocasta, Luisa Rey, Meronym, and a random background extra at a party in the Cavendish section.
27th-Jul-2012 02:19 am (UTC)
Thanks for all that. I'm still not sure how I feel about the whole Jim Sturgess thing. It kind of really jumped out at me while watching the trailer. He does look pretty stupid though.
27th-Jul-2012 03:13 am (UTC)
Yeah, whatever you think of it it, he sure does look dumb. I always sort of assumed Hae-joo Im was hot
31st-Jul-2012 02:05 pm (UTC)
"but I feel compelled to point out that as much as the trailer portrayed a lovey dovey relationship between Hae-joo Im and Sonmi~451, in the end Sonmi reveals that he was a huge traitor scumbag government plant." Isn't that never confirmed though? It heavily hints that he is a traitor but in the end they never find out for sure. Kinda like in 1984 life was so awful for them all in that world that if the rebels did turn out to be a government trap they wouldn't be surprised but both books never make it clear if the suspicions were true. At least that's what I thought.
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