Every now and then we need a light-hearted comedy that not only brightens our day but brings a smile to our faces. Making its North American premiere at the 25th Austin Film Festival, Above the Clouds is a UK indie film that sets out to fill you up with hope and inspiration. The film follows newly turned artistic eighteen-year-old Charlie (Naomi Morris) as she discovers the man she thought was her father is not actually her father, at least not biologically. Along with her recently met homeless acquaintance Oz (Andrew Murton), she sets out on a cross-country road trip to find her real father and discover more about who she really is.
When it comes to coming of age stories there are the usual clichés of self-discovery and realizing not everything is how you think it should be. Above the Cloud doesn’t shy away from those clichés but embraces them with its overzealous amount of charm and witty comedy. Every person remembers what it was like to be a teenager and think back to how obnoxious you were. Remember thinking that you knew it all and that nobody could tell you anything? Well, the quirky relationship between Charlie and Oz can be compared to those feelings. Watching these two strangers come together and rely on each other for emotional support is what drives this film. A great example of this is when Oz teaches Charlie how to properly drive, making you think of when you first learned to how to drive from a parent or adult.
Along with their journey, they meet some crazy characters and end up in some humorous predicaments due to Oz’s appearance and Charlie’s naiveté. Which drives home another point of the film: you can’t judge a book by its cover. Oz wasn’t always homeless, and as their journey reaches the end we soon discover the full story behind this knowledgeable homeless man. Furthermore, director and producer Leon Chambers has a great eye for capturing the beauty and magnitude of UK. As an American, if there was ever a film to make you want to book a plane ticket to the UK, Above the Clouds would be the one to do it.
Above the Clouds might be set in the UK but the themes of no place like home, finding peace within yourself, and the generosity of strangers will resonate with anyone, no matter where you are from or your age.