“Clouds” debuts tomorrow (October 16th, 2020) on Disney+. The film is about the life of seventeen-year old Zach Sobiech, a talented singer/songwriter living with osteosarcoma, a rare bone cancer. We had a reporter at the drive-in premiere in California and I received a screener to watch this week.
Disney+ posted this synopsis on “Clouds”:
At the start of his senior year, he is ready to take on the world, however when he receives the news that the disease has spread, he and his best friend and songwriting partner, Sammy (Sabrina Carpenter),decide to spend Zach’s limited time following their dreams. With the help of Zach’s mentor and teacher, Mr. Weaver (Lil Rel Howery), Zach and Sammy are given the chance of a lifetime and are offered a record deal. Along with the support of the love of his life, Amy (Madison Iseman) and his parents, Rob and Laura (Tom Everett Scott and Neve Campbell); Zach embarks on an unforgettable journey about friendship, love and the power of music.“Clouds” is directed by Justin Baldoni and produced by Andrew Lazar, Justin Baldoni and Casey La Scala. Kara Holden wrote the screenplay with a story by Casey La Scala & Patrick Kopka and Kara Holden. The movie is produced by Wayfarer Studios, Warner Bros. Pictures and Mad Chance / La Scala Films.
“Clouds” is based on a true story, and once you get to the end credits there are intertwining moments with the real Zach and then other moments with the cast on the set. The film isn’t a documentary, it is a Hollywood telling of it.
Fin Argus and Sabrina Carpenter play Zach and Sammy, who were longtime friends since they were children. All of the acting in the film is terrific. The opening of the movie for me doesn’t set the tone for the rest of the film. “Clouds” is a pretty inspirational film on life and love, on making the most of the time you have left – especially when one knows that may be only a few months. In those few months, Zach made a permanent imprint on millions of people and continues to do so. The film focuses on relationships quite a lot. And Zach does find romance during the movie with Amy, but at the same time she isn’t the only one who has strong feelings for him.
Thomas Everett Scott plays Zach’s father. I know Scott mostly from one of my favorite films, “That Thing You Do”, and fans of that film will recognize the similarities in one scene. Neve Campbell is very capable as Zach’s mom.
“Clouds” is a family film with some mature themes. If you are looking for lighthearted fare, this isn’t it. However, I didn’t find it immensely sad, mostly thoughtful and straightforward on the subject matter. I would have liked to have seen the Lourdes visit explored a little more in depth. After watching, I found myself wanting to learn more about Zach, his life and music. Speaking of music – the musical performances and songs are compelling, just as in real life.